Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson [official profile] agreed on Monday to delay the implementation of a new state law [HB 2780 text, RTF] requiring women seeking an abortion [JURIST news archive] to consent first to an ultrasound. The Center for Reproductive Rights [advocacy website] requested a restraining order temporarily barring enforcement of the law. The Center contends the law violates patient privacy and filed a suit [press release] in Oklahoma County District Court on behalf of two Oklahoma abortion providers last week. Proponents of the provisions introduced in the new law, however, argue that it protects the lives of the unborn.
Last week, the Oklahoma Senate voted [JURIST report] to override Governor Brad Henry's veto of two anti-abortion bills. Earlier in April, the Oklahoma Senate voted to approve [JURIST report] five anti-abortion bills, sending three to Henry for his approval and returning two to the Oklahoma State House of Representatives [official website]. Pending House approval, two additional bills would require a woman to answer 38 questions [HB 3284 text, RTF], including why she is seeking an abortion, and prohibit state health plans from covering elective abortions [HB 3290 text, RTF]. The Oklahoma laws join another restrictive abortion law passed recently in Nebraska, which bans abortions after 20 weeks [JURIST report].