United States: the Supreme Court once again refuses to limit the right to abortion

Publié le : 15 November 2013

  Having declared that it would not rule against the law in the State of Oklahoma restricting the use of the abortion pill (Gènéthqiue press review on November 4th, 2013), the United States Supreme Court once again refused, on Monday 11 November, to make a ruling aimed at limiting abortion.    

The facts relate to a law adopted by the State of Oklahoma, which obliges every pregnant woman who wishes to have an abortion to undergo an ultrasound scan prior to the procedure. During the scan, the physician must record "the measurements of the embryo or foetus, heart activity and the presence of external limbs and internal organs". 
In refusing to make a ruling, the Supreme Court confirmed "the illegal nature of this mandatory step", namely a pre-abortion ultrasound scan. However, when the Supreme Court of Oklahoma initially declared this law to be unconstitutional, the State of Oklahoma upheld this ruling on the grounds of the "legitimate interest in preventing a woman who opts for an abortion from subsequently discovering with dramatic psychological consequences that she did not make a fully informed decision".

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