State Politics

NC attorney general to seek US Supreme Court review of ultrasound ruling

The North Carolina attorney general will petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling this week that the state's ultrasound rule is unconstitutional.

Roy Cooper, the state attorney general and a Democrat considered to be a 2016 gubernatorial candidate, has said that he personally does not support the 2011 rule requiring abortion providers to show and describe ultrasounds to women terminating their pregnancies.

Nevertheless, he plans to seek clarity from the U.S. justices on the mixed opinions from other U.S. circuit court panels on similar topics.

The courts have upheld ultrasound laws in Texas and struck them down in Oklahoma.

"Monday's opinion holding North Carolina's law unconstitutional is now in conflict with Lakey, a case involving a similar Texas law which the 5th Circuit Court upheld," Cooper said through his spokeswoman, Noelle Talley.

Rep. Paul Stam, a Republican from Wake County, issued a statement on Tuesday, praising the request for review from the country's highest court.

"While this is not the decision we hoped for, most parts of the Woman's Right to Know Act have been in effect since 2011," Stam said. "Since 2010, abortions have been reduced by 23 percent in North Carolina. The Woman's Right to Know Act of 2011 set the path for better care for women and children in North Carolina."

Abortion-access advocates, however, praised the 4th Circuit decision.