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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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The sought-after state of herd immunity — in which widespread outbreaks are prevented because enough people in a community are immune to a disease — is complicated by open questions about the effectiveness of a future vaccine and how COVID-19 spreads.

Why it matters: Unless a sufficient level of immunity is achieved in the population, the coronavirus could circulate indefinitely and potentially flare up as future outbreaks.

Judge rules all three defendants in shooting of Ahmaud Arbery will stand trial

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

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Why it matters: The video of Arbery's death was among several catalysts in the mass protests against racial injustice that have unfurled across the country and world over the past week and a half.

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Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

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Why it matters: Floyd has become the latest symbol of police brutality after he was killed last week when a police officer held a knee to his neck.