Oklahoma Judge Allows Lawsuit Against Abortion-Ultrasound Law to Move Ahead
by Steven Ertelt
February 27, 2009
Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — An Oklahoma judge has allowed a lawsuit filed by an abortion business against a law, to allow women a chance to see an ultrasound of their baby before the abortion begins, to move ahead. The Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion law firm based in New York, filed a lawsuit against the measure.
The law, approved by the legislature, includes protection for the conscience rights of health care professionals to refuse to participate in abortions, puts more limits in place on the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, and makes sure women are not pressured or forced into having an abortion.
The measure also includes an ultrasound provision to allow women to see pictures of their unborn child and hopefully seek alternatives. It disallows so-called wrongful life lawsuits where parents can sue doctors for the birth of a disabled baby instead of suggesting an abortion.
The pro-abortion law firm filed the suit on behalf of Nova Health Systems which operates the Reproductive Services abortion business in Tulsa.
The lawsuit claims the measure and its giving women more information before an abortion violates privacy rights, endanger’s women’s health, and violates their dignity.
Yesterday, Judge Vickie Robertson held a hearing and ruled the lawsuit can move ahead to the next step and kept the pro-life law from being enforced while the lawsuit continues.
"Forcing women to view an image that they don’t want to view, forcing them to receive information they believe they don’t need, is degrading," pro-abortion attorney Stephanie Toti said about the lawsuit.
But Teresa Collett, a pro-life attorney representing the state, told KFOR that the law is perfectly constitutional.
"In this instance, the plaintiffs are trying to avoid what’s clearly a constitutional law because they are trying to establish a right to abortion under the state constitution. It just doesn’t exist. Abortion has been illegal in this state since 1890, since we were a territory," she said.
Another hearing will be held next month on the law, where Judge Robertson will likely make a decision about whether it is valid. Both sides are expected to appeal her decision.
Last year, National Right to Life state legislative director Mary Balch told LifeNews.com she expected abortion businesses to file suit.
"We are not surprised that abortion providers would challenge Oklahoma’s ultrasound law," she said.
"The last thing they want to do is show the mother her living unborn child who has a beating heart and is very much alive. She just might choose life …and they would lose the sale," Balch added.
Gov. Brad Henry vetoed the measure, SB 1878, but members of the state legislature easily overrode the veto to put the law in place.
Nova Health Systems has challenged Oklahoma laws in the past that are designed to reduce abortions.
It challenged a measure requiring the consent of one parent before a teenager can have an abortion. However, a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver rejected the request.
Tony Lauinger, the head of Oklahomans for Life, told LifeNews.com previously that the "pro-life bill helps pregnant women, unborn children, pro-life health-care professionals, and persons with disabilities."
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