by Steven Ertelt
August 28, 2006
Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — A federal appeals court has ruled against a request by an abortion business to take the state’s new parental notification law off the books while its legal challenge against it moves forward. The law requires abortion facilities to notify parents 48 hours ahead of an abortion to let them know their teenage daughter is seeking one.
Nova Health Systems, the parent group of the Tulsa’s Reproductive Services abortion center, filed for an injunction preventing the law from going into effect during its lawsuit to overturn it.
However, a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver rejected the request on Friday.
Nova filed the lawsuit just minutes after Democratic Gov. Brad Henry signed the parental notification bill into law in May.
The abortion business claims the law is problematic by not establishing deadlines on how quickly state courts must approve judicial bypass requests for teens to avoid telling their parents about an abortion. Such requests are supposed to be reserved for cases of abuse, but abortion advocates frequently hire lawyers to help teens avoid the notification requirement.
The notification measure also allows women considering an abortion to see an ultrasound photo of their baby beforehand.
Also under the measure, women contemplating an abortion would be told that their unborn child after 20 weeks of pregnancy will likely feel intense pain during the abortion. They are given the option to administer anesthesia to the baby beforehand.
When he signed the bill, Henry said the limits on abortion in it were reasonable.
"Senate Bill 1742 includes measured restrictions on abortion," Henry said. "This legislation strikes a reasonable balance on a contentious issue."
Henry spokesman Paul Sund said the governor’s office got about 700 calls on the bill and were about equally for and against.
The proposal also includes a measure that would allow prosecutors to charge criminals with two crimes when they assault a pregnant woman and kill or injure the unborn child and would send state family planning funds to pregnancy centers.
The House signed off on the measures and the Senate approved them in a combined bill on a 38-8 vote. All of the Senate Republicans supported the bill and all but eight Democrats did as well.
Oklahomans for Life chairman Tony Lauinger said the measure Henry signed will provide hope for pregnant women and their unborn children.
But, Planned Parenthood lobbyist Keith Smith blasted the governor and told AP Henry’s actions were "highly unfortunate."
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