Sunday, August 23, 2009

Oklahoma Judge Strikes Pro-life Law

Oklahoma County District Court Judge Vicki Robertson ruled that a law that required women seeking an abortion to receive an ultrasound violated constitutional requirements that legislative measures deal only with one subject.

-- From "Abortion Law Backers Vow Oklahoma Appeal" by James C. McKinley Jr., New York Times 8/19/09

A day after a judge struck down an Oklahoma law requiring women seeking an abortion to see an ultrasound of the fetus and listen to a description of its attributes, the state said it would appeal the ruling, and Republican lawmakers vowed to pass the law again in a different form.

While advocates of abortion rights celebrated the victory in court, they acknowledged the fight against one of the most sweeping anti-abortion laws in the country was likely to continue for months in the Legislature and before the State Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, Judge Vicki L. Robertson of the Oklahoma County District Court ruled the omnibus abortion bill — which lawmakers passed over the veto of Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat, in 2008 — violated a clause in the State Constitution requiring that bills deal with only one subject. Judge Robertson did not rule on whether the law, which rolled together five separate anti-abortion measures, violated constitutional protections of privacy and freedom of speech.

Charlie Price, a spokesman for Attorney General W.A. Drew Edmondson, said Wednesday that an appeal would be filed with the State Supreme Court. The state will argue that the law does not violate the single-subject rule, because all its parts are germane to abortion, Mr. Price said.

In recent years, several states have passed laws requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion and at least three — Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi — require doctors to offer the woman the chance to see the image.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.