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Judge blocks Oklahoma 'morning after' pill law

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: August 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm •  Published: August 19, 2013

About 12 women supporting efforts to stop the law from taking effect attended the 45-minute hearing. They wore pink T-shirts, with some that read “Trust Oklahoma Women.”

Diane Clay, spokeswoman for state Attorney General Scott Pruitt, said the attorney general's office is disappointed with the ruling.

“The law simply keeps requirements the same as they have been for more than a decade, requiring those under age 17 to have a prescription to buy Plan B emergency contraceptives,” she said.

David Brown, a staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the law attempts to reinstate restrictions on access to emergency contraception that have been removed by the FDA, resulting in unique limits on the ability of women in Oklahoma to get the medication.

“There is no other state in the country that has enacted these kinds of restrictions on Plan B,” he said. “This (order) will ensure that Oklahoma women enjoy the same access to Plan B … that women and teens in every other state enjoy.”

Brown said the law also violated the single-subject rule in Oklahoma's constitution.

The language dealing with the restriction was filed as an amendment in May during the final days of this year's session.

HB 2226's original language dealt with regulating health insurance benefit forms.

Patrick Wyrick, solicitor general for the Oklahoma attorney general's office, said the measure's intent was to make sure girls had some type of conversation, especially with a health care professional, before they took the emergency contraceptive.

Wyrick said the amendment was filed because the FDA considered changing its policy in April; the deadline to file measures is January.

The Republican-controlled Legislature easily approved HB 2226. It passed the House 69-9 and passed the Senate 31-10. Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, signed it into law May 29.