Okla. Attorney General Asks U.S. Supreme Court To Reinstate Antiabortion Law

March 27, 2013 — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) on Friday filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a ruling that struck down a state law (HB 2780) requiring women seeking an abortion to view an ultrasound image and hear a description of the fetus, AP/KSWO reports (AP/KSWO, 3/26).

The state Supreme Court in December upheld a lower court ruling that declared the law was unconstitutional because it only applies to abortion and no other medical procedures. The court struck down a separate law (HB 1970) restricting medication abortion because it violates women's fundamental rights to "privacy and bodily integrity" (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/5/12).

Pruitt asked the U.S. Supreme Court on March 4 to reconsider the medication abortion law.

Friday's Filing

In a news release, Pruitt said he filed for a writ of certiorari because the state has "an obligation to protect our citizens and to make sure a life-altering abortion is held to the highest medical standards."

Bebe Anderson -- director of U.S. Legal Programs for the Center for Reproductive Rights, who is challenging the law on behalf of Nova Health Systems -- called the ultrasound law "demeaning" to women and said Pruitt's "last-ditch effort shows a continuing hostility to the women of Oklahoma."

According to the Tulsa World, fewer than 2% of similar petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court are granted (Krehbiel, Tulsa World, 3/26).