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Technicality Takes Out Oklahoma Ultrasound Law

Aug 18, 2009 | 2009 Press Releases

WASHINGTON — Today, in the case of Nova Health Systems v. Henry, the County District Court in Oklahoma struck down SB 1878, a bill providing expectant mothers the opportunity to view the ultrasound image of their unborn child. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and its affiliate, Oklahomans for Life, supported the measure and urged its passage.

“The court’s ruling is by no means a condemnation of the commonsense protections provided for in the legislation,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, National Right to Life director of state legislation. “The court’s decision was based solely on a procedural issue and not the substantive matters addressed in the bill.”

The court determined that the law violated Oklahoma’s single-subject rule which requires legislation only deal with one issue at the time. SB 1878 was an omnibus bill that addressed five abortion-related issues.

Besides the ultrasound provision the law required that distribution of the abortion pill RU-486 follow federal protocol, a logical standard for administration of a lethal drug. In an attempt to prohibit coercive abortions the law required abortion clinic to display a simple sign stating that no-one can force a woman to have an abortion against her will. Along with protecting the essential right of conscience, the law would have prevented wrongful birth lawsuits that argue a child should have never been born.

“When all is said and done and the dust has settled from today’s ruling we fully expect that each of these laws will be given full effect in Oklahoma,” Balch said.

The National Right to Life Committee, the nation’s largest pro-life group is a federation of affiliates in all 50 states and 3,000 local chapters nationwide. National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.