The on Monday rejected a bid by the state of North Carolina to revive its law requiring women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound of the fetus performed and described to them.
The high court left in place an appeals court ruling that struck down the 2011 law as unconstitutional because it forced doctors to voice the state’s message discouraging abortion.
Under the law, passed by North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature, physicians must perform an ultrasound, display the sonogram and describe the fetus to women seeking abortions.
The 4th US circuit court of appeals ruled last year that the measure unduly burdened doctors’ free speech rights, impinging on the physician-patient relationship.
The ruling by the appellate court in Richmond, Virginia noted that the state clearly intended to “convince women seeking abortions to change their minds or reassess their decisions”.
The law came in a wave of state legislation passed in recent years by conservative lawmakers seeking to chip away at the US supreme court’s 1973 Roe v Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
The push is now moving into the courts, with another US appeals court last week upholding key provisions of an abortion law passed in Texas in 2013 that required clinics to have certain hospital-grade facilities. Critics say the regulatory hurdle was designed to shut down abortion providers.
In other decisions on Monday, the supreme court:
The court ruled on a 5-4 vote against Fauzia Din, a naturalized American citizen from , by throwing out an appeals court ruling in her favor. Din, who lives in Fremont, California, sued the US government after her husband, Afghan citizen Kanishka Berashk, was denied a visa in 2009.
The US government cited a law that allows consular officials wide discretion to deny visas to those linked with “terrorist activities”. The government said it is not required to provide any more details.
The high court left intact a September 2014 ruling by the 2nd US circuit court of appeals that Iraq’s current government could not recoup damages under a US anti-racketeering law over Hussein’s effort to defraud the UN program. Hussein was removed from power during a 2003 US-led invasion and executed in 2006.
More than 80 companies, subsidiaries and affiliates were named as defendants in the 2008 lawsuit over the $64.2bn oil-for-food program, which ran from 1996 to 2003 and was designed to help ordinary Iraqis hurt by international economic sanctions against Hussein’s government.