Kentucky’s HB 2 [text, PDF], which requires doctors to perform an ultrasound before an abortion, faced its first legal challenge [text, PDF] in federal court Thursday. HB 2 requires doctors to perform an ultrasound and show their patients pictures, explaining the images in detail. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website], argue that it is unconstitutional pursuant to 42 USC § 1983 [text, PDF]. The ACLU argues that forcing women to sit through this process violates their rights. It is also argued that it is violating the doctors’ rights, under the First Amendment [resources], by requiring them to deliver a government mandated ideological message. The US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky [official website] began to hear oral arguments earlier in the morning.
The topic of abortion has become more common in the national dialogue in recent times, with many states starting to introduce legislation targeting abortion. Oklahoma approved a bill on Wednesday that would prohibit abortions [JURIST report] because of genetic abnormalities. On Tuesday the Texas Senate approved two anti-abortion bills [JURIST report]. Last month the Florida Supreme Court blocked a bill [JURIST report] that imposed a mandatory waiting period before an abortion.