WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court decided Tuesday not to review a ruling by Oklahoma's highest court that requiring women to undergo a narrated ultrasound exam before obtaining an abortion is unconstitutional.
The decision marks the second time this month that the nation's highest court has declined to take up a challenge to the Oklahoma Supreme Court's rulings on abortion. On Nov. 4, the court opted not to review a decision by the state's high court that a major portion of Oklahoma's restrictive abortion law is unconstitutional because it effectively bans all drug-induced abortions.
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a legal challenge on behalf of three Oklahoma plaintiffs in April 2010 to block the law, which would have forced every woman seeking an abortion in the state to undergo an ultrasound, have the image placed in front of her and listen to a state-mandated script.
A district court judge granted a temporary restraining order against the law in May 2010 and a permanent injunction in March 2012. The Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld the lower court's ruling in December.
Nancy Northup, president and chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights, welcomed Tuesday's decision.
"A woman's personal, private medical decisions should be made in consultation with the health care professionals she trusts, without interference by politicians who presume to know better," Northup said in a statement. "Today the U.S. Supreme Court has let stand another strong decision by the Oklahoma courts protecting a woman's constitutional right to make her own decisions about whether to continue a pregnancy from the intrusion of politicians opposed to her rights and indifferent to her health."
The Oklahoma legislature passed the ultrasound law in 2010, and it was struck down by the state's high court in March 2012.