U.S. Supreme Court rejects Oklahoma appeal of abortion case

Without comment, the nation's high court lets stand an Oklahoma court's decision that requiring a woman to have an ultrasound is unconstitutional.
by Chris Casteel Modified: November 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm •  Published: November 12, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Tuesday to review an Oklahoma abortion case, effectively upholding a ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court that a state law requiring an ultrasound test and a doctor's narration was an unconstitutional burden on a woman seeking to terminate a pregnancy.

Without comment, the nation's high court declined to accept Oklahoma's appeal.

It was the second time this month that the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the state on an abortion case after showing some interest in the law being disputed. Last week, the high court declined to review a law regarding drug-induced abortions.

That law had also been struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

The ultrasound law would have required a physician to perform an ultrasound test using either a vaginal probe or an abdominal transducer and explain to the woman what the ultrasound was depicting.

The state argued that the U.S. Supreme Court has condoned laws that require physicians provide truthful information to women seeking abortions and that such laws did not pose a substantial obstacle to abortion.

Moreover, the state said the Oklahoma Supreme Court decision conflicts with a federal appeals ruling that upheld a similar law.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which challenged the law on behalf of an Oklahoma physician and abortion clinic, urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to review the case, arguing that the Oklahoma Supreme Court had rightly struck it down.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said Tuesday, “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.


by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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