The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down another opportunity to take up a state restriction on abortion that was ruled unconstitutional by a lower court.
The top court rejected a request from officials in Oklahoma who wanted to reverse a state court decision to strike down a law requiring any woman seeking an abortion to first see an ultrasound image of the fetus.
The decision Tuesday leaves intact an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling that struck down the law on the basis that it ran counter to the top court's precedent on abortion restrictions and placed an unconstitutional burden on abortion rights.
It marks the second time in just two weeks that the top court had rebuffed a chance to review an Oklahoma court ruling that struck down a restriction on abortion.
The court last Monday dismissed a case centered on an Oklahoma law that targeted the use of the abortion-inducing drug RU-486.
Oklahoma officials petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the ultrasound case, arguing that the brief court opinion delivered in December 2012 did not sufficiently explain the rationale for its decision.
Nova Health Systems, which provides reproductive health services — including abortion procedures — and physician Larry Burns filed suit in 2010, contending that the law, which they see as invasive, was unconstitutional under Oklahoma state law, according to Reuters.
An Oklahoma district court issued an injunction blocking preventing enforcement of the law in March 2012, the wire service reported.
Meanwhile, the top court Tuesday also declined to hear an appeal from three former Duke University lacrosse players who were among those falsely accused of raping a stripper, according to the Associated Press.
The three players — Ryan McFayden, Matthew Wilson and Breck Archer — had sought to have the court rule that their constitutional rights were violated by Durham, N.C., police when officers forced them to give DNA samples and examined their bodies in a bid to find evidence to use against them, the wire service reported.
The players were declared innocent and all charges were dismissed, the AP reported.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has said police can apply a significantly lower standard than "probably cause" to justify a court order mandating a search and DNA swabs.
The top court justices will not review that ruling.
NBC News' Daniel Arkin, Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published November 12 2013, 7:44 AM