Oklahoma Abortion Ultrasound Case Dismissed By Supreme Court

For the second time in two weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court has opted not to hear an Oklahoma abortion case. A state law had previously required women to view an ultrasound image and listen to a baby's description prior to an abortion, but it was struck down last December. The high court's decision upholds the current law against the pre-abortion practices. In its December decision, Oklahoma contended the law was unconstitutional based on a 1992 United States Supreme Court decision on abortion rights, which called for "informed consent" for women seeking abortions.

Opponents of the previous law, which was passed in 2011, contended that women were forced to have a vaginal probe, even if they didn't want it. “It does not merely make information available to a woman who wishes to terminate her pregnancy; it compels women to undergo an invasive medical examination and listen to a state-scripted narrative even if they object," according to a brief from Oklahoma abortion clinic operators.

The state requested the Supreme Court to hear the ultrasound case, Pruitt v. Nova Health Systems, due to a lack of explanation in the December 2012 state ruling.

Just last week, Supreme Court justices brushed off another case in Oklahoma that concerned abortion. SCOTUS refused to hear an appeal of a law that would limit the abortion-inducing drug RU-486 and "off-label" abortion practices, which the state court deemed would effectively ban all medical abortions. The reaction to the news on Twitter was mainly positive, and left some wondering what the news means for other states. Currently, three states — Louisiana, Texas and Wisconsin — require a woman to pay for an ultrasound and see and hear the description of her fetus before an abortion can be procured.