ACLU Comment on Supreme Court Refusal to Hear Challenge to Unethical Kentucky Abortion Law

December 9, 2019 10:00 am

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced today it would not review a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding Kentucky’s forced narrated ultrasound law against a First Amendment challenge.

Today’s ruling allows H.B. 2, Kentucky’s forced, narrated ultrasound law, to take effect. The physicians at Kentucky’s last abortion clinic will be forced to subject every patient to their ultrasound images, a detailed description of those images, and the sounds of the fetal heart tones prior to an abortion — even if the patient objects or is covering their eyes and blocking their ears, and even if the physician believes that doing so will cause harm to the patient.

“By refusing to review the Sixth Circuit’s ruling, the Supreme Court has rubber-stamped extreme political interference in the doctor-patient relationship,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “This law is not only unconstitutional, but as leading medical experts and ethicists explained, deeply unethical. We are extremely disappointed that the Supreme Court will allow this blatant violation of the First Amendment and fundamental medical ethics to stand.”

H.B. 2 has been widely and unequivocally condemned by the medical community, including in friend-of-the-court briefs submitted by the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Public Health Association, as well as by more than 130 leading biomedical ethicists from around the country.

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.

Learn More About the Issues in This Press Release