Controversial abortion ultrasound law struck down

Updated
 
Tony Lauinger, state chairman of the group Oklahomans for Life, and vice president of the National Right to Life Committee, waits in Oklahoma County District...
Tony Lauinger, state chairman of the group Oklahomans for Life, and vice president of the National Right to Life Committee, waits in Oklahoma County District...
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

The Oklahoma State Supreme Court struck down a state law mandating women hear a description of their fetus while having an ultrasound image shown to them before having an abortion. It also ruled a ban on drugs used to end pregnancies was unconstitutional.

Oklahoma lawmakers passed the restrictive abortion laws in 2010, but lower courts prevented their implementation, citing a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the Associated Press reported. The state Supreme Court decision Tuesday ruled that the lower courts were right in following the higher court’s mandate.

Nancy Northup, CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which challenged both laws in court, told the AP that Oklahoma has become a testing ground for laws that restrict women’s reproductive rights.

Last spring, a personhood bill which would have granted embryos full rights from the moment of conception failed before reaching the Oklahoma House floor.

Lawmakers in Virginia also proposed a measure that would require women seeking abortions to first undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, but it backfired with national protests at the state capitol and eventually Gov. Bob McDonnell backed off his support for that portion of the bill. Earlier this year, McDonnell signed into law an amended version of the bill that mandates women to undergo an abdominal ultrasound, rather than a transvaginal one, before obtaining an abortion.

Texas also implemented a mandatory pre-abortion, transvaginal ultrasound law. Despite Texas Democrats’ best efforts, that bill sailed through the legislature without stirring up the same amount of controversy as Virginia’s proposal. Texas Gov. Rick Perry had named the bill an emergency item and prioritized its signing in the legislative schedule.

Controversial abortion ultrasound law struck down

Updated