Oklahoma abortion laws lose in court
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma laws requiring women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound image placed in front of them while they hear a description of the fetus and that ban off-label use of certain abortion-inducing drugs are unconstitutional, the state Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.
The state's highest court determined that lower court judges were right to halt the laws. In separate decisions, the Oklahoma Supreme Court said the laws, which received wide bipartisan support in the Legislature, violated a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court case.
The Oklahoma court said it has a duty to “follow the mandate of the United State Supreme Court on matters of federal constitutional law.”
The Legislature passed the ultrasound law in 2010. Oklahoma is one of several states that have passed laws requiring doctors to both perform an ultrasound and provide a verbal description of the fetus before an abortion.
The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights challenged both laws, and Oklahoma County judges had halted their enforcement while the court cases made their way through the judicial system.
Michelle Movahed, a staff attorney for the abortion-rights group, said the rulings represent a “sweeping and unequivocal” rejection of the Legislature's attempt to restrict the reproductive rights of women.
Nancy Northup, the center's president and CEO, said Oklahoma has been a testing ground for a national network of organizations she said are hostile to women, doctors and the rights of both.
“But despite their best efforts to chip away at women's fundamental rights, the courts have consistently rejected these extreme assaults on reproductive freedom,” Northrup said.
State Attorney General Scott Pruitt, whose office appealed lower-court decisions that invalidated the laws, said he is considering appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pair of NYC officers killed in ambush shooting
- Poor morale, training in Air Force ICBM program spur questions about usefulness as nuclear deterrent
- Document hunt to begin for illegals who need proof of residency since 2010 for permit, reprieve
- Financial fraudster used investors’ lucre to freeze dead wife, feds contend
- Teenager who attacked California Highway Patrol officer with machete shot, killed
- N.Y. reports crime decrease, credits ‘broken windows’
- Cat saved from California storm drain after 2 weeks
- 4 Afghans freed from Guantanamo
- Ghostly snailfish found at record depth
- Gray wolf decision reversed
- Replacement part beamed up to space station