Intended for healthcare professionals


US Supreme Court allows Kentucky’s abortion ultrasound law to stand

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 12 December 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6967
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal, Canada

The United States’ highest court has declined to review a Kentucky law that requires doctors performing abortions to perform fetal ultrasounds and show them to patients, even if the patient asks them not to.

The Kentucky Ultrasound Informed Consent Act allows the patient to close her eyes if she wishes not to see the image, but the physician is obliged to display it, verbally pointing out any visible body parts. Failure to comply is punishable by six figure fines and referral to the state medical board.

The law also requires the doctor to make the fetal heartbeat audible if …

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