Commonwealth Policy Center

Commonwealth Policy Center Decries Court Ruling on Ultrasound Law
Date: September 28, 2017
Contact: Richard Nelson (270) 271-2713

A federal judge struck down Kentucky's ultrasound law because he said it violated the "First Amendment rights of physicians." U.S. District Judge David Hale's one-page ruling is receiving criticism from those who believed the legislation to be both common sense and constitutional.

"A doctor's first priority is to practice good medicine and to fully inform their patients," said Commonwealth Policy Center Executive Director Richard Nelson. "Withholding critical information from expecting mothers in the name of protecting an abortionist’s free speech rights is absurd."

After nearly a 15-year journey, the Ultrasound bill was signed into law by Gov. Bevin on Jan. 9. Proponents argued it would better inform women with sonogram images of their unborn child that used to be withheld from them by abortionists.  

“Information ultimately empowers women. The ultrasound law provided pregnant women with all of the latest technology and information available," Nelson said. "Judge Hale's ruling in effect says that women are better off with less medical information when making one of the most important decisions in their lives."
The Commonwealth Policy Center believes that the court opinion implies that woman aren't capable of handling ultrasound information about their unborn child. "This ruling, under the guise of the First Amendment, only ends up keeping women seeking an abortion in the dark as they have been for so many years," Nelson said. "How is that a good thing?"

Opponents of the bill argued that it was intrusive and burdensome to women. However, the law permitted women to turn away from the ultrasound pictures.

The Ultrasound bill passed the Kentucky state House in January by a vote of 83-12. It passed the state Senate by a vote of 32-5. Gov. Bevin said he will appeal the ruling.