Dec 9, 2019

Supreme Court leaves in place Kentucky law requiring ultrasounds before abortions

The Supreme Court building on Nov. 14. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a Kentucky law mandating that doctors show and describe ultrasound images and play an audible heartbeat of the fetus to patients seeking abortions, NBC News reports.

The big picture: The court declined to hear an appeal from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of Kentucky's lone abortion clinic. The ACLU argued the statute's only purpose is to coerce a patient into opting out of having an abortion, while defenders said it helps people make a well-informed decision.

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Where abortion restrictions stand: The states that have passed laws

Anti-abortion protest. Photo: SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

The most restrictive abortion laws in generations are being challenged in courts across America's red states, setting up what could be a precedent-smashing Supreme Court challenge to the abortion status quo.

Driving the news: Mississippi's fetal heartbeat law was struck down on Friday, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 15-week abortion ban was unconstitutional, per AP. The Center for Reproductive Rights, who challenged the ban in court, called the ruling "the first of the recent bans to reach a federal appellate court."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 14, 2019

Mississippi governor promises to persist in abortion battle

Pro-life activist outside of Mississippi's last abortion clinic. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Mississippi's outgoing Gov. Phil Bryant tweeted on Saturday that he will continue "to fight for America‚Äôs unborn children. Mississippi will continue this mission to the United States Supreme Court."

Why now: Bryant's promise comes one day after a federal appeals court ruled that the state's ban on abortions at 15 weeks is unconstitutional, AP reports. Bryant hopes to take the case to the Supreme Court, like many Republicans across the country, where new conservative justices could possibly overturn Roe v. Wade.

Go deeperArrowDec 14, 2019

Planned Parenthood to open clinics in 50 Los Angeles high schools

A California high school in 2018. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Planned Parenthood announced Wednesday it's opening 50 clinics for some 75,000 teenagers at Los Angeles County high schools that'll offer a range of reproductive services, but not abortions, the Washington Post first reported.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of California officials working with Planned Parenthood as the reproductive health care provider faces Trump administration efforts to restrict its services and cut funding. In October, California became the first state to require public colleges provide abortion medication to students on campus.

Go deeperArrowDec 12, 2019