Thursday, October 22, 2009

Judge Delays Enforcement of Anti-Choice Okla. Law

Enforcement of an anti-choice Oklahoma law set to take effect on November 1st has been delayed by a temporary restraining order granted Monday. Oklahoma County District Court Judge Twyla Mason Gray's order delays enforcement of the law to December 4th so she can "look further into the case," according to Women's E-News.

The law in question will require doctors to report extensive information about each abortion performed in the state, which will then be published on government websites. The questionnaire will ultimately be posted on the Oklahoma State Department of Health website and includes information as detailed as a woman's reason for an abortion, her age, the date the abortion, and the total number of previous pregnancies.

Though supporters of the law argue that the omission of a woman's name and address preserves her right to privacy, opponents assert that it would be possible to identify a woman from a small town from the information to be published. The law is also the first in the nation to ban sex-selective abortion.

A lawsuit was filed earlier this month by Wanda Stapleton, a former Oklahoma state representative, and Lora Joyce Davis, a resident of Shawnee, Oklahoma. The suit, filed on the plaintiffs' behalf by the Center for Reproductive Rights, alleges that the new law violates the state constitution by covering more than one topic and that it will cause unnecessary spending of taxpayer dollars. The Center for Reproductive Rights won a similar lawsuit in Oklahoma in August.

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