An Oklahoma law that requires women to undergo an ultrasound and receive a detailed description of the fetus has been struck down by an Oklahoma district judge.
The judge ruled that the abortion law was unconstitutional before it violated a doctors’ First Amendment rights by forcing them to read a speech to their patients which was written by lawmakers.
As the judge notes, the statue is nothing more than a “special law” because it attempts to treat the act of abortion differently than any other medical procedures women might face.
The Oklahoma law has been the center of controversy since 2010, originally it was vetoed by then-Governor Brad Henry but the state legislature overrode that veto. The law however was never enforced because of a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights. That group led by its president managed to start a nationwide campaign that backlashed against state lawmakers.
In the district judges decision he wrote:
“The court has resoundingly affirmed what should not be a matter of controversy at all—that women have both a fundamental right to make their own choices about their reproductive health, and that government has no place in their decisions,”
The judges decision comes at a time when various anti-abortion bills appear to be failing in other states includes George and Pennsylvania.
In the meantime some groups have instead turned to “personhood” bills which they claim do not take away a women’s right to choose but instead attempt to simply determine when a fetus becomes a human being. Personhood bills are being met with the same opposition as standard abortion bills.