The U.S. Supreme Court refused to revive an Oklahoma abortion law that would have required doctors to first perform an ultrasound, show it to the woman, and describe what the image depicts.
Rejecting an appeal by state officials, the justices left intact an Oklahoma Supreme Court decision that invalidated the law as placing an unconstitutional burden on abortion rights.
The rebuff marks the second time this month that the high court has declined to reinstate Oklahoma abortion regulations. The justices earlier dropped a case over restrictions on drug-induced abortions after the Oklahoma Supreme Court said the state's law would have outlawed all such procedures.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt argued that the ultrasound requirement was a legitimate effort to ensure that a woman wouldn't later come to regret her decision to have an abortion.
The ultrasound law was challenged by Nova Health Systems, an abortion provider, which urged the Supreme Court to reject the state's appeal. Nova said the Oklahoma law went well beyond informed-consent statutes in other states.
The court is likely to act this year in two more abortion cases. In one, Planned Parenthood is seeking to block enforcement of a Texas law that requires all abortion providers to have local hospital admission privileges.
In the other, Arizona is asking the court to reinstate a law that would ban abortion at 20 weeks or later in pregnancy.
The high court hadn't ruled in an abortion case since 2007.
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