Oklahoma Judge Rules Comprehensive Pro-Life Law on Abortion Unconstitutional
by Steven Ertelt
February 19, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — An Oklahoma district court judge has ruled a comprehensive state pro-life law unconstitutional because he believes it deals with more than one subject. However, the legislature is moving ahead with separate bills on each of the pro-life issues to be able to counter the ruling.
District Judge Daniel Owens placed a temporary restraining order on the law that he issued the ruling on today.
The Statistical Reporting of Abortions Act, set to go into effect on November 1, received the support of large majorities of the Oklahoma House and Senate.
Governor Brad Henry signed the bill into law in May but it was challenged by the Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion law firm based in New York City.
The law requires a report for each abortion be sent to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The questionnaire gathers demographic information including age, race, marital status and educational level and gathers information on the method of abortion used. The law also bans sex-selection abortions and helps women by making sure abortion centers follow certain health and safety requirements.
But Judge Owens says the bill covers more than one subject even though the law is a series of measures all related to abortion.
Former state Rep. Wanda Jo Stapleton, D-Oklahoma City, and Shawnee resident Lora Joyce Davis filed the lawsuit with the help of CRR.
Another Oklahoma law is also in court — SB 1878 — which allows women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before having an abortion.
Responding to the potential decision, Oklahoma lawmakers last week approved three key pro-life bills designed to reduce abortions.
The Oklahoma state Senate Health and Human Services Committee advanced Senate Bill 1891 which would protect health care professionals’ freedom of conscience by affirming their right to refuse to participate in the taking of a human life.
They also supported SB 1902, regulating the use of the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, which has claimed the lives of more than 13 women worldwide and injured countless others.
And the panel backed SB 1890, which would prohibit abortions that are done for sex-selection reasons.
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