Tulsa abortion provider, Reproductive Services, is suing the state of Oklahoma, asking the state to throw out the law, and seeking an injunction to prevent the onerous and harmful Senate Bill 1878 from taking effect November 1st.
SB 1878 was passed in April after the legislature overrode a Governor’s veto. The bill requires women to view an ultrasound one hour prior to an abortion procedure. This includes listening to a detailed description of the ultrasound image. Additionally, the bill includes a refusal clause which shatters the balance between the conscience of the health care provider and the needs of the patient and legislates additional guidelines in administering the medication abortion pill. For a comprehensive look at the law, you can view SB 1878 here.
The Center for Reproductive Rights is representing the reproductive Services. They state that the law intrudes on a patients privacy, endangers her health and assaults her dignity. The law also prevents a woman's doctor from using his or her medical judgment for treatment. "Governments should stop playing doctor and leave medical determinations to physicians and health decisions to individuals," said Stephanie Toti, a staff attorney for the U.S. Legal Program, a division of the Center for Reproductive Rights. Read more about this locally at the Tulsa World, nationally at the New York Times, and at the blog Truthout.org.
Linda Meek, executive administrator of Reproductive Services in Tulsa, said if the law takes effect, it will be very difficult for her nonprofit clinic to survive. She said the law is an effort to throw up barriers to women who want an abortion. The law will make it more difficult for doctors at the clinic and will be very costly.
Oklahoma already has some of the worst abortion access in the nation, with 96 percent of counties having no abortion provider. Reducing access to safe abortion services can only lead to unsafe and maybe illegal abortions in our state. Frightening!