A state law requiring women to submit to an ultrasound imaging examination prior to getting an abortion was struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The court ruled that the state law conflicted with established federal law and violated a woman’s right to make her own choice in reproductive matters. In 1992, the United States Supreme Court ruled that state laws designed to hinder the right to an abortion violated the constitution of the United States.
The law demanded that, one hour prior to receiving an abortion, an ultrasound technician describes the view of the unborn child. The court reaffirmed that forcing women to submit to a pregnancy ultrasound infringed on the patient’s right not to receive unwanted information, and questioned the ability to make this decision on her own.
Proponents of the law believe that requiring the use of an ultrasound would help to change the perception that the unborn child is just a shapeless lump of tissue. Rather, by having the moving, living child described in detail, the woman would perceive the unborn child as a living person. According to a study performed in 2011 at Quinnipiac University, laws requiring the use of these examinations greatly reduce the number of abortions performed.