Tags: abortion | Oklahoma

Oklahoma Law Requiring Ultrasound Before Abortion Overturned

Thursday, 20 Aug 2009 10:43 AM

By Rick Pedraza

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A controversial Oklahoma law requiring an ultrasound before an abortion has been struck down with a judge's ruling that it violated a woman’s constitutional rights.

The 2008 law violated a requirement that legislation deal with a single subject and was a compilation of five bills, Oklahoma County District Judge Vicki L. Robertson found. She did not rule on other legal complaints about the law, according to The Oklahoman newspaper.

The bill’s author, Sen. Todd Lamb, R-Edmond, said legislators will continue to push for anti-abortion measures, including one that would require giving a woman an ultrasound at least an hour before an abortion. Lamb said he probably would ask the attorney general to appeal the ruling.

"I don’t think it violates the single-subject rule,” Lamb told The Oklahoman. "There are multiple provisions and sections of this legislation, and the argument could be made that it’s pro-life all the way through.”

Meanwhile, the House sponsor of the bill said, "I think the life issue is definitely worth fighting for.”

Robertson “ruled on a technicality and not on the true substance of the bill," said Rep. Pam Peterson, R-Tulsa, the House sponsor. "It’s a setback, and, if the state doesn’t appeal the ruling, we will continue to stand for life in this state.”

Special Assistant Attorney General Teresa Collett told The Associated Press: "Common medical practice is to require doctors to provide patients information that's necessary for them to make informed decisions. We don't think abortion should be any exception."

The ruling doesn't undermine supporters' intent, abortion opponents said.

“The court’s ruling is by no means a condemnation of the common-sense protections provided for in the legislation,” Mary Spaulding Balch, state legislation director for the National Right to Life Committee, told LifeNews.com. “The court’s decision was based solely on a procedural issue and not the substantive matters addressed in the bill.”

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