Oklahoma Supreme Court Affirms Ruling on 2009 Abortion Bill, New Bills Coming
by Steven Ertelt
March 4, 2010
Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — The Oklahoma Supreme Court has upheld a judge’s ruling striking down an omnibus abortion bill from 2009 by saying they couldn’t be compiled into one measure. However, the state legislature is moving the bills ahead this year with separate measures that should overcome the ruling.
On Wednesday, the state’s high court upheld the February ruling of a state District Court that a pro-life state law not yet enacted is unconstitutional.
Both courts found the law to be unconstitutional on the basis that the law violates state rules requiring that legislation address only a single subject.
The law would have prohibited sex-selective abortions and required doctors to fill out a 10-page questionnaire about the circumstances of the abortion. Survey responses would then be sent to the state health department for publication online.
The state Supreme Court wrote in their opinion, "We are growing weary of admonishing the Legislature for so flagrantly violating the terms of the Oklahoma Constitution. It is a waste of time for the Legislature and the Court, and a waste of the taxpayers’ money."
The legislature is already advancing new bills.
This week, the Oklahoma House, on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, approved a bill 87-7 that now goes to the state Senate for consideration.
The bill requires allowing a mother considering an abortion a chance to view an ultrasound one hour prior to the abortion. The abortion practitioner must explain the development of the unborn child and ensure the woman can see the ultrasound images.
House Bill 2780, by Rep. Lisa Billy, expands on pro-life legislation passed in 2006 that required abortion practitioners to provide helpful information to women.
"This legislation is about giving mothers as much information as possible in advance about this irrevocable, life-altering decision. We must do all we can to ensure every woman has all the facts so she can make the most informed decision possible," said Billy, R-Purcell.
"One of the most important roles of government is to protect those who cannot protect themselves," added House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa. "This bill protects Oklahoma mothers from making a decision they may later regret."
District Judge Daniel Owens placed a temporary restraining order on the 2009 law, but state legislators are responding to it by passing each of the laws individually.
Responding to the potential decision, Oklahoma lawmakers in the state Senate also recently 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.
Related web sites:
Oklahoma Legislature – https://www.lsb.state.ok.us
Oklahomans for Life – https://www.okforlife.org
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