Oklahoma judge strikes down ultrasound abortion law

Ultrasound of anti-choice nutball brain

An Oklahoma judge on Wednesday struck down the state’s law requiring women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound image placed in front of them and to listen to a detailed description of the fetus before the procedure.

District Judge Bryan Dixon ruled the statute passed by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2010 is an unconstitutional special law, and can’t be enforced because it addresses only patients, physicians and sonographers dealing with abortions without addressing other medical care…

Former Democratic Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry had vetoed his state’s bill after it passed the Republican-controlled Legislature, warning the measure likely would lead to a “potential futile legal battle.” Republicans overrode the veto with help from several Democratic anti-abortion lawmakers.

Enforcement has been blocked since May 2010 when the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights challenged the law on behalf of Nova Health Systems, operator of Reproductive Services of Tulsa, and a doctor who practices in Norman.

The group’s lawsuit claimed the statute violated the principles of medical ethics by requiring physicians to provide unnecessary and unwanted services to patients and discounting a woman’s ability to make decisions about her pregnancy.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said Wednesday’s ruling reflects a backlash against legislation she called hostile to women, their doctors and their rights.

The court has resoundingly affirmed what should not be a matter of controversy at all — that women have both a fundamental right to make their own choices about their reproductive health, and that government has no place in their decisions,” Northup said.

The author of the ultrasound statute, Republican Rep. Lisa Billy of Lindsay – and other reactionary religious fanatics said blah, blah, blah, blah-de-blah.

The intent in every case is to use the power of the state — something all hypocrite conservatives say they categorically oppose — to influence and inhibit a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices.

The question comes down to individual liberty, freedom to choose – and, as always in the United States, freedom from the state being managed to serve religion.

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