Judge strikes down law barring teen access to over-the-counter emergency contraceptive

Oklahoma County District Judge Lisa Davis ruled Thursday that a law barring young girls from an over-the-counter emergency contraceptive is unconstitutional.
by Matt Dinger Modified: January 23, 2014 at 8:54 pm •  Published: January 24, 2014
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An Oklahoma County judge ruled Thursday that a law barring young girls from an over-the-counter emergency contraceptive is unconstitutional.

The law, contained in House Bill 2226, prevented girls under the age of 17 from getting Plan B One-Step without first seeing a doctor.

The drug is also known as levonorgestrel. It is taken after sexual intercourse to prevent pregnancy, but is not capable of terminating an existing pregnancy.

Oklahoma County District Judge Lisa Davis issued a temporary injunction to block the law last August.

Davis on Thursday said that the law did not adhere to the single-subject provision of the state constitution.

“The judge's ruling today is a win for women and even girls of Oklahoma. It protects Oklahomans against unwanted pregnancy,” said Martha Skeeters, president of the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice.

Background

Attorneys for the state attorney general's office argued that the first portion of the bill, which addresses health insurance regulations, and the latter portion, which addresses the contraceptive, were similar enough in subject matter to be bundled in the same legislative bill.

The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit last year on behalf of the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice and Jo Ann Mangili, of Mounds, who has a 15-year-old daughter.

by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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