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U.S. justices decline to hear second Oklahoma abortion case

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to review a decision striking down a Oklahoma law that required any woman seeking an abortion to be shown an ultrasound image of the fetus beforehand.

By refusing to hear the case, the high court left intact an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling that struck down the law on the basis that it violated the U.S. Supreme Court's precedent on abortion restrictions.

It was the second time in two weeks that the high court had declined to review an Oklahoma court ruling that struck down an abortion restriction.

Last week, the court dismissed another case concerning a state law in Oklahoma that cracked down on the use of the abortion-inducing drug RU-486.

The state of Oklahoma asked the Supreme Court to hear the ultrasound case, saying the brief state court opinion issued in December 2012 did not explain the rationale for its ruling.

Nova Health Systems, which provides reproductive health services, including abortions, and physician Larry Burns filed suit in 2010, claiming the law, which they view as unduly invasive, was unconstitutional under Oklahoma state law. A district court in Oklahoma issued an injunction preventing enforcement of the law in March 2012.

The case is Pruitt v. Nova Health Systems, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 12-1170.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and Doina Chiacu)

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