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U.S. Supreme Court rejects Oklahoma appeal of abortion case

Without comment, the nation's high court lets stand an Oklahoma court's decision that requiring a woman to have an ultrasound is unconstitutional.
by Chris Casteel Modified: November 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm •  Published: November 12, 2013

“Today the U.S. Supreme Court has let stand another strong decision by the Oklahoma courts protecting a woman's constitutional right to make her own decisions about whether to continue a pregnancy from the intrusion of politicians opposed to her rights and indifferent to her health.”

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who sought the review, said, “We're disappointed in the court's decision not to review the case, particularly given that Texas' similar ultrasound law was upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The unfortunate message sent by the Oklahoma Supreme Court's decision in this case is that when it comes to abortion regulations, what is legal in other states is illegal in Oklahoma.”

In its brief to the court, the Center for Reproductive Rights argued that the Texas case was different from Oklahoma's in that it was challenged on First Amendment grounds by, among others, physicians who said they shouldn't be compelled to tell patients about ultrasound images.

The Oklahoma law was struck down because it violated a woman's due process right to terminate a pregnancy, the center told the high court.

According to the center, only Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and North Carolina have approved laws requiring ultrasound tests with mandatory narration. Only Oklahoma's required a vaginal probe, the center said.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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