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Judge Protects Patient Information in Oklahoma

A judge on Friday extended a temporary restraining order for an Oklahoma law requiring online publication of personal information for women obtaining abortions in the state. The law, which prohibits sex-selective abortions, requires doctors to submit detailed patient information to the state health department for publication online. The temporary restraining order halts the application of this law until a current lawsuit challenging its legality is resolved. District Judge Daniel Owens will review the law on February 19, 2010.

Abortion rights advocates say the law both unnecessary and invasive. Caitlyn Wright, a University of Oklahoma student, said the law invades women’s privacy. “The only question that’s not asked of these women is their name,” Wright said, as quoted on NPR. “These are incredibly invasive questions. Is it because she can’t afford child care? Is she unmarried? Is she having a rough patch with [the] father? The real purpose of the bill is to shame women from having this procedure and I think it’s to scare them.”

Sources:

The Oklahoman 12/19/09; KOAM TV 12/18/09; Feminist Newswire 12/18/09; Oklahoma Secretary of State office 5/21/09