Oklahoma Health Department Reports Abortion Rate Below National Average

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 4, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Oklahoma Health Department Reports Abortion Rate Below National Average

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 4
, 2010

Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — After a busy legislative session that saw the Oklahoma state legislature pass several pro-life bills to reduce abortions, the state health department released a new report on the abortion numbers. The report finds the study below the national average in terms of the abortion rate.

The health department said there were 6,319 abortions in 2007 compared with 54,946 live births.

At a ratio of 115 abortions per 1,000 births, that puts Oklahoma well ahead of the national average of abortions per 1,000 births — meaning more pregnant women decide to keep their baby in Oklahoma than nationwide.

The new figures come as the state is defending a new law that allows women to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before the abortion. When used in pregnancy centers, ultrasounds help most women decide to not have an abortion.

The law has been suspended as the new lawsuit filed by a Tulsa-based abortion business and Norman-based abortion practitioner moves ahead.

The state legislature voted overwhelmingly last week to override Governor Brad Henry on two pro-life bills, including the ultrasound measure.

Hours later, the Center for Reproductive Rights sued to stop enforcement of the pro-life law in Oklahoma County District Court.

Today, Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson agreed to the court order abortion advocates requested to put a restraining order in place while the lawsuit proceeds. District Judge Noma Gurich informed the Associated Press of the decision.

Gurich said she would hold a hearing in July on a request for a temporary injunction that is longer lasting while the case moves forward and she said she expects to approve it.

Tony Lauinger, state chairman of Oklahomans for Life, told AP he is disappointed the crucial law has to wait while abortion advocates deny women more information. But he believes the law will eventually be upheld.

"We’re sorry to see implementation of the law delayed" Lauinger said. "This has been a long process and apparently it will be a little longer."

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