Oklahoma Abortion Law Challenged

Next Tuesday, an Oklahoma judge will decide whether or not a
woman seeking an abortion will be made to see her sonogram, and have it
described out loud to her, before she is able to receive the procedure. 

"The new law passed last year requires a woman to have an
ultrasound and then have the images described to her, before she can have an
abortion," according to a story from Oklahoma City’s KSBI. "That law has never been enforced because a Tulsa
clinic is challenging it." 

Attorneys for the state defended the law in a hearing
yesterday, saying that it was in the woman’s best interest to have an
ultrasound at least an hour before the abortion is scheduled, as the law

"This is simply an attempt to stop a law that protects
woman’s health in the state of Oklahoma from going into effect but their own
practices show there is nothing unusual about this law," said Teresa
Collete, Attorney General, Special Assistant. 

But according to Stephanie Toti, an attorney for the New
York-based Center for Reproductive Rights who is representing Tulsa
Reproductive Services, the law is the most extreme in the country. According to
an AP report, Toti’s argument today in front of District Judge Vicki Robertson was
based on the fact that the law is unclear in its language. 

"During oral arguments, she
told District Judge Vicki Robertson that the law does not describe in
sufficient detail what a physician or other medical professional is supposed to
say to a woman about the ultrasound image.

 "‘There are a million
different things that a doctor could tell a patient about an ultrasound,’ Toti
said. ‘It is not clear what a physician must say.’"



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  • http://www.randijames.com invalid-0

    This is freaking disgusting. There is absolutely NO reason a woman needs an ultrasound shown to her, nor described to her, once she has already made the decision to have an abortion. Anyone calling for this is just sick and has a twisted sense.

  • invalid-0

    When I had my wisdom teeth removed, the oral surgeon showed me a video, x-rays, and diagrams to explain exactly what would happen during the surgery. There were no fanatics trying to stop him from providing me with this informed consent and nobody concerned that it might “distress” me. Nobody was brushing it off like I had already decided to have my teeth removed, so why should this be “forced” on me?

    Opponents to Oklahoma’s law have reached the height of paternalism. It’s such a pity that abortionists (and those who defend them) are so resistant to being transparent about the procedure. Why not provide women with *all* of the information and trust them to make their own decisions? ;-)

  • invalid-0

    It’s not paternalism for a woman to object to being required to look at something that is NOT about safeguarding HER health or explaining the procedure itself (as in the case of your wisdom teeth) but instead about discouraging her from having a safe procedure because ‘fetal life is valuable’ and instead encouraging her to take the more medically risky option of going through a pregnancy. It’s also not ‘paternalism’ for a doctor to not want to waste time he could spend going over the information actually necessary for real ‘informed consent’. The woman already KNOWS she’s pregnant – that’s why she wants an abortion!

  • invalid-0

    None of these ultrasound laws have ever required the woman to look at it. They all allow her to avert her eyes.

  • emma

    None of these ultrasound laws have ever required the woman to look at it. They all allow her to avert her eyes.

    In which case she is apparently required to have the imagedescribed to her.


    EternalSkeptic, I don’t think you understand what ‘paternalism’ means. If I don’t want to look at an ultrasound or have the image described to me but the state forces me to do so, that is paternalism. You used the term ‘abortionist’, which means you’re probably anti-choice. It seems likely that when you say ‘it’s paternalistic not to force unwilling women to listen to descriptions of their ultrasound for no medical reason’, what you actually mean is that you think women should be forced to look at or listen to descriptions of their ultrasounds for whatever your reasons are – that you think women will hear ‘there’s a foetus on your ultrasound’ and go ‘omg! a foetus! I didn’t know it was a human foetus! my precious baby! I love you! How could I ever have dreamed of having an abortion?!’, or because you hope those who go ahead with their abortions will feel really, really guilty for murdering! their! precious! unborn! babies! or some such.


    (I mention those specific examples because they’re the usual ones given by the antis. You’re welcome to substitute your other reasons, if you have them.)

    • invalid-0

      If you think no one will be affected that way, then back down off it. OMG- I have to listen to a description of a sonogram that was probably going to be done anyway?! the horror, the horror!

  • http://www.increasemp3plays.com invalid-0

    What will they do if sonogram test give a bad result ??

  • invalid-0

    I’ll first address some semantic concerns from your post. A radiologist administers radiology. A nuerosurgeon performs nuerosurgery. An anesthesiologists administers anesthesia. An abortionist performs abortions. It’s pretty simple, actually.

    “Anti-choice” is a disingenuous term because it generalizes and does not specify the choice in question: Abortion. Life surrounds us with choices. It’s about as easy to be “anti-choice” as it is to be “anti-oxygen.”

    Paternalism involves the current effort to resist showing a woman her own body prior to a procedure that will be directly affecting it. Paternalism involves withholding this information from women and not trusting them to weigh the evidence and make their own decisions. Paternalism rests with the very origin of this opposition to SB 1858, which can be found in Warren Hern’s textbook, “Abortion Practice,” in which he advises abortionists to turn away the ultrasound screen. Or consider Justice Blackmun in Thornburg v. ACOG, who stated that such information “may serve to confuse and punish [a woman] and heighten her anxiety.” Way to go, Blackmun. Protect our pretty little heads from the facts.

    And for the record, I really don’t know how women will react to the evidence. That’s up to them. If they opt for abortion anyway, viewing the ultrasound is inconsequential, and that prospect shouldn’t be generating such an emotional response on this site. Nobody is stopping you from the abortion, after all. If women don’t proceed, they don’t. But again, I trust women to to view the evidence and make that decision for themselves. Opponents of SB 1858 apparently don’t.

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  • mj

    When a women comes in to have an abortion she goes thru a process. Part of it is to have an ultrasound and another is to go thru informed consent and talk about what to expect and how to take care of herself after it is done. Durning the ultrasound if she wants to see it she will ask, if she wants to know what she is looking at she will also ask. This is her choice. She doesn’t need to see the actual ultrasound to be fully informed of what is going to happen durning the abortion procedure itself, there is no medical reason for this. When she goes thru informed consent the process will be explain to her and all possible risks and complications will be explained. She can change her mind at any point before the abortion takes place. I really wish anti-abortion people would get the facts straight, including the goverment, before they would try to put these stupid and unnessacary laws into affect.