The Center is challenging a newly enacted Oklahoma law which prohibits a woman from getting an abortion unless she first has an ultrasound, is shown the ultrasound image and listens to her doctor describe the image in detail.
Filing Date: 4/27/2010
Plaintiff(s): Nova Health Systems, d/b/a Reproductive Services, Larry A. Burns, D.O.
Co-Counsel/Cooperating Attorneys: Anne Zachritz (Oklahoma City), Martha Hardwick (Tulsa)
Summary: On April 27, 2010, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a challenge against Oklahoma legislation which prohibits a woman from getting an abortion unless she first has an ultrasound, is shown the ultrasound image and listens to her doctor describe the image in detail. The lawsuit was filed within hours of the Oklahoma Senate voting to override Governor Brad Henry’s veto of the legislation.
The Center argues that the ultrasound requirement profoundly intrudes upon a patient’s privacy and is the most extreme ultrasound law in the country. The law forces a woman to hear information that she may not want to hear and that may not be relevant to her medical care. It also dangerously discounts her abilities to make healthy decisions about her own life by forcing her to hear information when she's objected. In addition, the statute interferes with the doctor-patient relationship—potentially damaging it—by compelling doctors to deliver unwanted speech.
The Center filed this challenge in the Oklahoma District Court for Oklahoma County.