The backlash to the war on women continues. This week, an Idaho bill that would have mandated ultrasounds for abortion seekers died in the legislature, a victory for women’s rights in one of the most conservative states in the nation.
But the backlash is also getting an assist from a district court in Oklahoma:
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 it can’t be enforced because it addresses only patients, physicians and sonographers dealing with abortions without addressing other medical care.
Oklahoma is one of several states that have passed laws requiring doctors to both perform an ultrasound and provide a verbal description of the fetus before an abortion, while others are considering similar measures. The laws have been on hold in Oklahoma and North Carolina as legal challenges proceed, while Texas’ recently was upheld.
One of the ways we’ve seen anti-choice activists wage battle is through a multi-pronged strategy. They don’t just focus on the legislature, or the courts, or the court of public opinion. They fight wherever possible, and achieve victories along the way. The pro-choice activists need to copy this strategy. After this ruling in Oklahoma, every state with an ultrasound mandate (and think about the logic behind calling a mandate to purchase insurance unconstitutional, but a mandate to perform unnecessary medical procedures on women perfectly fine) should get slapped with a lawsuit. The Center for Reproductive Rights challenged the Oklahoma law, and they should be applauded.
It remains to be seen whether Oklahoma will appeal the ruling.