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Feminist News


March-04-10

Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules Abortion Law Unconstitutional

Yesterday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld the February ruling of a state District Court that an anti-choice 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," reported NewsOK. The court ruled on a similar lawsuit in 2009.

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the current lawsuit in October 2009 on behalf of Wanda Stapleton, a former Oklahoma state representative, and Lora Joyce Davis, a resident of Shawnee, Oklahoma. The suit alleged that the new law violates the state constitution by covering more than one topic and that it will cause unnecessary spending of taxpayer dollars.

Also yesterday, the Oklahoma state House passed a bill on an 85 to 8 vote that would require doctors to report detailed information about patients seeking abortions to the government, according to NewsOK. This information would be posted online. Separate bills that include provisions of the repealed law are now pending in the Oklahoma state legislature.

Media Resources: NewsOK 3/4/10, 3/4/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 2/22/10