by Steven Ertelt
May 27, 2005
Tulsa, OK (LifeNews.com) — A federal judge on Friday ruled that Oklahoma’s parental notification on abortion law can stay in effect. The statute, which allows parents to know when their teenager daughters are considering an abortion, received approval from the Oklahoma legislature this month.
Senior U.S. District Judge H. Dale Cook in Tulsa ruled that an abortion facility did not show that the law was unconstitutional or adversely affected the public.
Governor Brad Henry signed the bill into law on May 20 and Judge Cook’s ruling allows the law to take effect.
Under the proposal 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 Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion law firm based in New York, filed a legal challenge to the bill.
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 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.