Judge to Hear Arguments in Case Challenging Oklahoma Ultrasound Law
This week, an Oklahoma County judge heard oral arguments in a legal challenge to a 2008 state law requiring women to undergo an ultrasound one hour prior to obtaining abortion care. The law also stipulates that women must listen to an explanation from the medical professional performing the ultrasound about what the image shows. In October, a temporary injunction was issued to prevent the law from going into effect on November 1. The injunction will remain in effect until the case is settled.
The injunction was filed by Nova Health Systems, the parent group of NAF member Reproductive Services of Tulsa, on grounds that the law violates a woman’s right to privacy by forcing her to listen to unwelcome, government dictated language in a private setting.
“It is both an affront to the woman’s decision-making power and to her dignity,” said Stephanie Toti, an attorney representing Reproductive Services.
This law, originally passed by the Oklahoma legislature in April 2008, is the only ultrasound law in the country that requires the image to be presented to a woman, even if she does not want to look at it. It is another intrusion by lawmakers into the doctor-patient relationship.