A new state law, now blocked by court order, came within days of ending many of the services provided by Tulsa’s main abortion clinic, a clinic attorney said Friday. The state law, which was to have gone into effect Nov. 1, prohibits a woman from getting an abortion unless she first has an ultrasound and the doctor describes to her what the fetus looks like. On Oct. 29, Oklahoma County District Judge Vicki Robertson granted a temporary restraining order blocking the law. Her order remains in effect until March 27, unless she rules on a request to issue a preliminary injunction sooner. A lawsuit filed on behalf of Tulsa’s Reproductive Services says the law intrudes on privacy, endangers health and assaults dignity.
Clinic’s reasoningsIf the law had gone into effect Nov. 1, the Tulsa non-profit clinic would have had to reduce the number of abortions it provides because it does not have the personnel needed to implement requirements of the measure, said Stephanie Toti, a staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights. "What would happen immediately is that they would have had to stop providing certain services, and within a short amount of time they would have been put out of business,” she said. She said the ultrasound requirement would add time and manpower requirements for the clinic. Toti said the clinic provides about 200 abortions a month — both surgical and through use of the RU-486 abortion pill.
What others sayRepublican state Sen. Todd Lamb, a chief supporter of the law, said he fails to see how the law could require an abortion clinic to close and would not require such a clinic to add new employees. "If any abortion clinic shut down, my hope would be that they shut down through a lack of demand,” he said.
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