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6th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Kentucky's pro-life ultrasound law

Ruling requires doctors to perform ultrasound before an abortion can take place

BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision Thursday that Kentucky's law requiring an ultrasound before an abortion is performed can remain in place.

What are the details?

The Kentucky law requires doctors perform an ultrasound before every abortion and for doctors to explain the images on the screen to their patients. Women could opt to have the heartbeat sound turned off and look away from the screen. Doctors are still permitted to suggest that women have abortions, and the law does not apply to instances in which an abortion is medically necessary.

The Circuit Court overturned a lower court ruling that the bill was unconstitutional, The Hill reported. The ruling from the 6th Circuit said the court found that the law "does not violate a doctor's right to free speech under the First Amendment."

But the one judge who dissented thought her colleagues were setting a dangerous precedent.

"I am gravely concerned with the precedent the majority creates today," Judge Bernice Bouie Donald, an Obama appointee, wrote. "Its decision opens the floodgates to states in this Circuit to manipulate doctor-patient discourse solely for ideological reasons."

The majority opinion was written by Judge John Bush, a Trump appointee. The remaining judge, Alan Norris, is a Reagan appointee and has been on the bench since 1986.

What else?

Kentucky GOP Gov. Matt Bevin called the ruling "a major, pro-life legal victory." He said that the decision "affirms the common sense notion that patients should be well equipped with relevant information before making important medical decisions. I am grateful to be governor of a state that values every human life, and we are committed to continue our fight on behalf of the most vulnerable among us."

Kentucky currently has only one legal abortion clinic, according to The Hill.

One last thing…
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