Oklahoma Parental Notification on Abortion Bill Heads to Court

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 19, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Oklahoma Parental Notification on Abortion Bill Heads to Court Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 19, 2005

Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — A pro-abortion law firm on Thursday filed a lawsuit taking to court a new law allowing parents to know when their teenager daughters are considering an abortion. The Oklahoma legislature passed the bill this month.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion law firm based in New York, filed a legal challenge to the bill, even though Governor Brad Henry has yet to sign the measure into law.

Under the proposal, which Henry will approve, abortion businesses must notify a parent of a minor teen considering an abortion 48 hours before the abortion is scheduled. Similar laws in other states have proven successful in reducing the number of teen abortions by about 30 percent.

The lawsuit contends the legislation did not provide adequate enough protections for teenagers who are unable to tell their parents about their potential abortion — in cases of abuse, for example.

The Supreme Court requires parental notification and consent laws to allow teens to receive a judicial bypass in such instances. The Oklahoma bill has a bypass provision in it.

The Center filed the lawsuit on behalf Tulsa abortion facility Nova Health Systems, which does business as Reproductive Services. The legal papers ask for an immediate hearing on the matter.

The Center also filed a legal challenge to Oklahoma’s parental consent abortion statute which the state legislature approved in 2001. That law never took effect as a federal court struck it down as unconstitutional. An appeal is pending.