Pro-life laws' defeat 'doesn't make sense'

Friday, December 7, 2012
Charlie Butts (

Two Oklahoma pro-life laws might be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, now that the state's high court has struck both of them down.

The first measure, which passed in 2010, requires that a woman be shown an ultrasound of her baby before she has an abortion. The second, approved in 2011, requires that abortionists follow the FDA protocol in administering abortion drugs like RU-486.

Balch, Mary Spaulding (NRLC)Mary Spaulding Balch of the National Right to Life Committee explains that the Oklahoma court based its decisions on a Supreme Court case titled Pennsylvania v. Casey. In separate decisions, the Oklahoma Supreme Court said the laws, which received wide bipartisan support in the legislature, violated that 1992 Supreme Court case.

"I think they're correct to say that they are bound by the federal law," she notes, "and the United States Supreme Court has said in Casey that the states have the right to regulate abortion. Most particularly, Casey was about informed consent and accurate information."

The ultrasound provides truthful information to the mother -- that what she is considering aborting is a child. So Balch does not think the Oklahoma ruling makes sense.

The second law, which simply says that chemical abortions have to follow federal guidelines, was also struck down.

"When the Supreme Court says that it violates federal law, it doesn't make sense, because they were trying to do that very thing -- to follow the federal law," the pro-lifer reasons.

Balch hopes the Oklahoma attorney general will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, and she believes there is a good chance of winning if the court will hear the case.

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