Oklahoma attorney general plans appeal in ultrasound-abortion dispute

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt plans to appeal a decision overturning a law that would have required women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound, he announced Friday.
by Silas Allen Published: March 31, 2012
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Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt plans to appeal a decision overturning a law that would have required women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound, he announced Friday.

Oklahoma County District Judge Bryan Dixon declared the law unconstitutional in a summary judgment handed down Wednesday. The law would have required doctors or their technicians to show pregnant women ultrasound images of their fetuses and discuss those images with the women before abortions were performed.

“The law is about presenting abortion accurately with full information about the outcome,” Pruitt said in a statement.

“We have an obligation to protect our citizens and make sure abortion is held to the same standard as any medically informed decision.”

Diane Clay, a spokeswoman for Pruitt, said the case would be appealed directly to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which will then determine whether to keep the case or refer it to the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals.

Former Attorney General Drew Edmondson hired outside counsel to assist his staff with the case, Clay said. To date, the state has paid about $145,000 for outside counsel on this case, she said.

The Legislature passed the law, commonly called the Ultrasound Act, in April 2010, overriding a veto by then-Gov. Brad Henry.

At the time of his veto, Henry said he was concerned the law had numerous flaws and would result in an expensive and possibly futile legal battle for the state.


by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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