OKC doctor: Lawmakers should check with constitutional lawyers first

BY ELI RESHEF, M.D. Published: December 16, 2012
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In April, the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously rejected an effort to put “personhood” on the ballot. This proposition would have defined a fertilized human egg as a person. On Dec. 4, the court dealt a double blow to anti-abortion activists by unanimously ruling that two new state laws are unconstitutional. One would have required a woman to have an ultrasound at least one hour before getting an abortion; the other would have restricted the off-label use of certain abortion-inducing drugs.

The passage of personhood in Oklahoma would have compromised advanced fertility treatments and certain forms of contraception. The restriction of abortion-inducing drugs would have denied valuable, nonabortion-related medical treatment such as assistance in labor and delivery and in the treatment of miscarriages. The ultrasound bill is simply gross interference in doctor-patient relationship.

An alarming pattern has evolved in the battle to restrict abortion: Impassioned legislators present restrictive bills that often overwhelmingly pass the House and the Senate, only to be shot down by the courts. This often-futile process saps the energy and credibility out of the legislative process and detracts from its real priorities to better the lives of Oklahomans.

To make matters worse, our attorney general's determination to promote a partisan political agenda by stubbornly trying to challenge unanimous Oklahoma Supreme Court decisions regarding personhood and abortion further reduces the credibility of our judicial process.

“Our office is dedicated to fighting corruption, protecting Oklahoma's vulnerable citizens and advocating excellence in the administration of the law, justice and protecting the interests of the great state of Oklahoma and its citizens,” said Attorney General Scott Pruitt. “There is overwhelming evidence that the off-label use of abortion-inducing drugs leads to serious infections and death for many healthy, unsuspecting women.”