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Kentucky law requiring abortion doctors to share ultrasound with women upheld by federal appeals court



Zelda Caldwell - published on 04/06/19

A lower court had struck down the law, which also required doctors to share the fetal heartbeat with a woman considering abortion.

A federal appeals court upheld a Kentucky law requiring abortion doctors to show women the ultrasounds of their unborn babies, describe the images and play the sound of the fetus’ heartbeat, reported the Catholic News Agency.

The law, entitled the “Ultrasound Informed Consent Act,” passed in 2017, but was found in violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment by a District Court

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit struck down that court’s decision, finding that the bill “provides truthful, non-misleading, and relevant information aimed at informing a patient about her decision to abort unborn life,” and that sharing this information with patients is “part of the state’s reasonable regulation of medical practice.”

“That this information might persuade a woman to change her mind does not render it suspect under the First Amendment. It just means that it is pertinent to her decision-making,” read the majority opinion.

In an April 4 statement the Catholic bishops of Kentucky applauded the decision:

“Given the devastating effect that abortion has on both the unborn child and often the mother who later regrets the abortion, it is vitally important that women have all of the information they need to make a decision that is as fully informed as possible,” they said. “The statute in question was passed to ensure women have access to unbiased and medically sound information about abortion procedures and the unborn child in the womb before making an irreversible decision to have an abortion. The court held that this is a legitimate interest of the Commonwealth and that a doctor does not have a right to withhold such information.”  
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