by Steven Ertelt
June 1, 2005
Tulsa, OK (LifeNews.com) — An Oklahoma abortion facility, for the second time, is asking a federal judge to halt implementation of a law that would require abortion facilities to notify parents when their minor daughter is considering an abortion. The judge previously turned back their effort to declare the law unconstitutional.
Nova Health Systems, which does business as Reproductive Services, plans to appeal Senior U.S. District Judge H. Dale Cook’s decision ruling that it did not show that the law was unconstitutional or adversely affected the public.
The abortion business wants Judge Cook to void the law while the appeal moves forward. 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.
Nova claims an injunction is necessary because the law doesn’t allow for a speedy decision on abortions for teenagers in abusive situations.
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.
Nova has filed an appeal with the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion law firm based in New York, filed the lawsuit on Nova’s behalf.
An attorney for the firm said Nova’s concerns may be eliminated if the Oklahoma Supreme Court develops guidelines for abortions for teens in abuse cases.
"If they (the state Supreme Court) should issue rules that set a time frame, it might cure the problem," said Bebe Anderson. However, she told AP she wasn’t aware of any plans to create such protocols.
Cook said in his ruling that the law "clearly sets forth expedition and confidentiality at every level of the judicial bypass process for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of every minor who seeks to utilize it."
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.