Judge puts off start of abortion-information gathering
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Thursday, October 29, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma County judge on Thursday let a temporary restraining order against a controversial abortion law stay in place.
House Bill 1595 was set to take effect Sunday. The measure bans abortions based on the gender of a fetus.
The law also requires women seeking abortions to disclose information that would be put on a state-run Web site. That information includes previous pregnancies and live births; previous marriages; previous induced abortions; how the abortion was paid for; the reason for the abortion; and information about the mother’s relationship with the baby’s father, among other things.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health was to create the Web site, which would not contain individual identifying information.
The temporary restraining order prevents the state from starting to comply with the measure.
The state had asked Oklahoma County District Judge Twyla Mason Gray to dissolve the temporary restraining order, which she declined to do.
A hearing on a request for a temporary injunction is set for Dec. 4.
If granted, the temporary injunction would prohibit the state from enforcing the law until the judge has ruled on a lawsuit filed against the legislation.
Two Oklahoma women filed suit last month, alleging that the measure violates a state constitutional requirement that bills cover a single subject.
Earlier this year, another Oklahoma County judge tossed out a bill that would have required women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound within an hour of the procedure and have its findings explained to them.
In that case, the judge determined that the measure, HB 1878, violated the single-subject rule. That decision has been appealed.