Lower courts have been divided over "display-and-describe" ultrasound laws.
In Kentucky, doctors must describe the ultrasound in detail while the pregnant woman listens to the fetal heartbeat.More news: Congressional panel to weigh Trump impeachment evidence as formal charges loom
"Kentucky argued the law is "simple and straightforward", calling it part of an" informed-consent process".
Later this term, the justices are set to consider a separate Louisiana law that requires doctors to obtain admitting privileges from a nearby hospital.
Energised by new conservatives on the US Supreme Court, several conservative states have attempted to enact new restrictions on abortion in the hopes of getting Supreme Court justices to reconsider Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalised abortion nationwide. It is nearly identical to a Texas law the court struck down in 2016 as medically unnecessary, and meant to limit a woman' access to the procedure.
"By refusing to review the 6th Circuit's ruling, the Supreme Court has rubber-stamped extreme political interference in the doctor-patient relationship", said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. In the past, SCOTUS has been quick to strike down regulations perceived as an "undue burden" on abortion access, including in 1992's Planned Parenthood v. Casey and 2016's Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.More news: China’s exports dropped 1.1% in November from a year earlier
"Kentucky's mandatory narrated ultrasound law forces doctors to display and describe a patient's ultrasound images against the patient's will - while they are lying on the exam table, half-naked, with a probe inside their vagina", they wrote. The court has shifted to the right after Justice Anthony Kennedy, a decisive vote in favour of abortion rights, retired in 2018 and was replaced by Trump appointee Brett Kavanaugh, who has a thin judicial record on the issue.
The federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the Kentucky law, but its sister court in Richmond, Virginia, struck down a similar measure in North Carolina.
The rejected appeal allows the state's law to go into effect.
In a recent report, the Guttmacher Institute found that the total number of abortions and the abortion rates declined between 2014 and 2017.More news: Reporter blasts man who assaulted her