Supreme Court declines to hear Oklahoma abortion ultrasound case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] denied certiorari [order list, PDF] on Tuesday in Pruitt v. Nova Health Systems [SCOTUSblog backgrounder], letting stand an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling striking down [opinion] a law requiring women to be shown ultrasounds of the fetus before undergoing an abortion. Oklahoma officials appealed the case arguing that informational requirements support "the State's legitimate interest of reducing the risk that a woman may elect an abortion, only to discover later, with devastating psychological consequences, that her decision was not fully informed," and that the court's interpretation of the controlling case of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey [opinion] conflicts with prior circuit court decisions. The Supreme Court accepted no other new cases Tuesday.

Oklahoma has been at the center of controversy recently regarding reproductive rights [JURIST backgrounder]. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt [Official website] initially appealed [JURIST report] the Oklahoma Supreme Court decision in June 2012, arguing that striking down the law denies important medical information to women seeking abortions. In the same month, Pruitt also appealed [JURIST report] a district court decision restricting the use of abortion-inducing drugs. The ultrasound law was ruled unconstitutional in March 2012 when an Oklahoma judge ruled it unenforceable under the Oklahoma Constitution, indefinitely extending the temporary injunction [JURIST reports] handed down in 2010. The Supreme Court refused to review that law [JURIST report] last week.

 

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