Louisiana Mandatory Ultrasound Bill Reaches Compromise

The clinics who have sued the state have agreed to drop the suit over mandatory ultrasounds now that pictures are not required, but other restrictions are still being challenged.

Clinics in Louisiana who were challenging the mandatory ultrasound law recently passed in the state have agreed to drop the suit now that forcing women to accept printouts of their ultrasound is no longer being required.


A group of abortion clinics dropped its challenge of a Louisiana abortion law that requires ultrasound exams for all women getting abortions, after working out an agreement with the state health department.

The agreement was approved by a federal judge on Wednesday.

The clinics had argued the ultrasound law was unconstitutionally vague because it didn’t specify whether providers must force women to view or accept copies of their ultrasound.

In the agreement filed in a Baton Rouge federal court, the state Department of Health and Hospitals agreed the law doesn’t require a woman to receive the photograph — but only requires the photograph to be offered.

[Stephanie] Toti [an attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights] said the clinics aren’t challenging the general ultrasound requirement because they all provide ultrasounds on site as a standard practice.

“They think it’s bad public policy in general, but in this particular case for the time being it’s not requiring them to alter their practice in any way,” she said.

Also blocked, according to the report, is a requirement that all providers must provide a list of places where patients could get ultrasounds without charge, a rule that potentially could have curtailed access to abortions in the state as the Department of Health and Human Services has yet to release such a list.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which has been representing the clinics, announced that they will continue to fight the requirement that doctors who provide abortions be excluded from the state-run medical malpractice fund, also passed by the Louisiana state legislature.