On Wednesday, the War Against Women was victorious in Oklahoma, which rather surprised me since Oklahoma is a bit more conservative than most other states. An Oklahoma district judge struck down a state law requiring women to have an ultrasound image placed in front of them and to listen to a detailed description of the fetus before having an abortion. District Judge Bryan Dixon ruled that the 2010 measure is an unconstitutional special law because it only affects patients, physicians, and sonographers who deal with abortions without addressing other medical care.
There are still many more fights and hopefully more victories as several states recently have passed mandatory ultrasound laws or they are on the table to pass.
Virginia’s Gov. Bob McDonnell passed a similar ultrasound prior to abortion bill recently. The legislature passed an amended version that did not require invasive transvaginal ultrasounds, but it still seems the new law runs counter to guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). As Forbes’ Rick Ungar points out, “According to the ACOG, ultrasonography in pregnancy should be performed only when there is a valid medical indication.” But the Virginia law says an ultrasound is necessary to determine the fetus’ gestational age — not a listed reason from ACOG. Instead of leaving it up to a doctor, the state of Virginia’s new law now dictates what is a required procedure.
Challenges against these types of laws are pending in North Carolina and Ohio, while Texas’ law went into effect this year after a judge upheld it.
Many thanks to you, Oklahoma Judge Bryan Dixon for seeing the truth behind these laws – that they are a direct violation of women’s health rights. I only hope that other states see the truth and are able to separate their personal beliefs from constitutional rights.