Oklahoma Judge Hears Arguments Against Abortion Law Allowing Ultrasound View
by Steven Ertelt
August 11, 2009
Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — An Oklahoma judge today held a hearing on a state law to allow women a chance to see an ultrasound of their baby before the abortion begins. An abortion business, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion law firm based in New York, filed suit to prevent women from seeing them.
The law also 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.
But the main section of the law is the ultrasound provision to allow women to see pictures of their unborn child and hopefully seek alternatives.
The pro-abortion law firm filed the suit on behalf of Nova Health Systems which operates the Reproductive Services abortion business in Tulsa.
Today, Judge Vickie Robertson, who temporarily blocked enforcement of the law in October pending the outcome of the case, heard from abortion advocates who claimed letting women get more information is a bad thing.
"It is both an affront to the woman’s decision-making power and to her dignity," said Stephanie Toti, of the CRR law firm.
Teresa Collett, special assistant attorney general who is defending the law, said none of the claims of the abortion advocates have any merit. She said a jury trial is unlikely because the facts are not in dispute in the case.
Collett, a pro-life attorney representing the state, told KFOR previously 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.
Judge Robertson took the arguments under advisement. 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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