Okla. court says abortion laws unconstitutional

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 4, 2012 at 5:46 pm •  Published: December 4, 2012
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Tony Lauinger, chairman of the anti-abortion group Oklahomans for Life, said he believes the state Supreme Court has misinterpreted the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision. He said the Oklahoma ultrasound measure provides a level of informed consent for women seeking abortions, something he said the federal decision permits.

"The ultrasound law does not prohibit abortion. It regulates abortion," Lauinger said.

The other state law was rejected in May by District Judge Donald Worthington, who ruled it violated "the fundamental rights of women to privacy and bodily integrity."

The law required doctors to follow strict guidelines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and prohibited off-label uses of certain abortion-inducing drugs such as RU-486. Such moves include changing a recommended dosage or prescribing it for different symptoms than the drug was initially approved for.

The law also required doctors to examine women before prescribing the drugs, document certain medical conditions and schedule follow-up appointments.

Pruitt said he was disappointed with the court's decision.

"There is overwhelming evidence that the off-label use of abortion-inducing drugs leads to serious infections and death for many healthy, unsuspecting women. This is not OK," Pruitt said.

All nine justices on the court joined in the decision involving the abortion-inducing drugs, while eight justices concurred in the ultrasound ruling. Justice Noma Gurich, a former Oklahoma County judge who issued an injunction blocking enforcement of that law in July 2010, recused herself from the decision.

Earlier this year, the state Supreme Court halted an effort to grant "personhood" rights to human embryos, citing the same 1992 U.S. Supreme Court case. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up the case on appeal.