Oklahoma Ultrasound Case: Supreme Court Refuses Abortion Appeal

Image: Oklahoma Ultrasound Case: Supreme Court Refuses Abortion Appeal

Wednesday, 13 Nov 2013 01:25 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says the U.S. Supreme Court showed its hostility toward pro-life legislation by not taking up a case involving the state's law requiring women to view ultrasound images of the fetus before getting an abortion.

The Supreme Court refused to intervene in the state law that was overturned in lower courts. The law mirrored similar laws in other states, according to the Associated Press.

Under Oklahoma's 2010 law, which the AP noted was rejected by Oklahoma courts, would have ordered doctors to perform an ultrasound examination on women seeking an abortion. Doctors would have had to show the image to the women while the provider described the fetus.

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"The U.S. Supreme Court has prohibited states like Oklahoma from banning abortion, despite the fact that our citizens are overwhelmingly pro-life," Fallin said in a statement. "Now the courts have taken their hostility to pro-life legislation a step further, prohibiting the state from providing more information to women about their unborn children."

According to Bloomberg.com, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt had said the ultrasound requirement was a legitimate effort to help woman not regret her decision to have an abortion later in life.

Pruitt pointed to a U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Texas as to why he believed Oklahoma was on sound legal footing.

In January 2012, that court allowed to stand a measure that make women undergo a sonogram and be presented the image and a fetal heartbeat, stating it did not violate constitutional protections, reported the Dallas Morning News.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, told the AP that the decision was a victory for women and reproductive health care providers. Northrop said the ruling tells lawmakers "that attacks on women's health, rights and dignity are patently unconstitutional and will not be allowed to stand."

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the original lawsuit against the Oklahoma law in April 2010. A district court judge issued a permanent injunction in March 2012 before the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld the ruling, according to the AP.

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