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Court Rules Anti-Choice Law Unconstitutional in OK

An Oklahoma County District Judge Daniel Owens ruled Friday that an anti-choice state law not yet enacted is unconstitutional, thus blocking enforcement of the law. The law was found to be unconstitutional on the basis that the law violates state rules requiring that legislation address only a single subject, according to the Associated Press. 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 Center for Reproductive Rights filed the 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 alleges that the new law violates the state constitution by covering more than one topic and that it will cause unnecessary spending of taxpayer dollars. The Center for Reproductive Rights won a similar lawsuit in Oklahoma in August 2009. Center for Reproductive Rights staff attorney Jennifer Mondino responded to the ruling in a press release, “The government has no business running a grand inquisition into the private lives of Oklahoma women and wasting a quarter of a million dollars of tax payers’ money in the process.” A judge had extended a temporary restraining order for the law in December 2009, which halted implementation of the law pending the outcome of the current lawsuit. The law had been scheduled to go into effect on November 1, 2009.

Sources:

Associated Press 2/22/10; Center for Reproductive Rights Press Release 2/19/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/18/09, 12/21/09

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