In 2011, North Carolina enacted a law compelling abortion providers to display and describe a fetal ultrasound to the mother before performing an abortion. The law made no exceptions for pregnancies involving rape, incest, health risks, or fetal anomalies.
On Monday, in Walker-McGill v. Stuart, the United States Supreme Court held that requiring an ultrasound before allowing an abortion was an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. While the State argued that women should be fully informed about the abortion procedure and what it entails, the Supreme Court determined that the ultrasound law was medically unnecessary and a violation of free speech.
Several other related cases are currently pending before the Supreme Court, including a case out of Texas requiring abortion clinics to have admitting-privilege requirements and ensuring abortion clinics meet ambulatory surgical clinic standards. Although a Federal Circuit Court recently upheld the Texas law, several pro-choice groups have stated they will ask the Supreme Court to review the decision.