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08.18.09 - Just moments ago, an Oklahoma state district court judge blocked a state law that included the most extreme ultrasound requirement in the country for women seeking abortions.
This victory gives women in Oklahoma their decision-making power back and allows one of the only abortion clinics in the state to continue providing services to thousands of women locally and from surrounding states.
The court ruled that the bill passed by the legislature addressed too many unrelated topics and therefore violated the Oklahoma Constitution's "single-subject" requirement.
“We are extremely pleased with today’s decision striking down a multitude of abortion restrictions, including the most extreme ultrasound requirement in the country for women seeking abortions,” said Stephanie Toti, Center staff attorney in the U.S. Legal Program and lead attorney on the case. “Not only was this law an absolute affront to a woman’s decision-making power, it threatened to shut down a facility that serves the health needs of thousands of women throughout Oklahoma and surrounding states.”
The Center represented Nova Health Services (a.k.a. Reproductive Services), one of the only clinics in the state providing abortions. One of the restrictions, an ultrasound provision, would have prohibited a woman from getting an abortion unless she first had an ultrasound and listened to her doctor describe the image in detail—even if she objected. In addition, the law would have restricted the availability of abortions performed with the medical abortion pill, leaving some women with surgery as their only option.
The decision in this case means that Reproductive Services can continue to provide services to the more than 2,000 women a year from Oklahoma and surrounding states who seek their help.
For more than 15 years, the Center has taken on discriminatory state restrictions aimed at prohibiting abortion providers from exercising their profession and providing services.
The Center filed Nova Health Systems d/b/a Reproductive Services v. Drew Edmondson in the District Court of Oklahoma County last year. Read more about this case >