Vetoed Oklahoma abortion bill follows other failed attempts

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Posted: May 20, 2016 7:05 PM
Vetoed Oklahoma abortion bill follows other failed attempts

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma abortion bill vetoed Friday by the governor followed at least seven other attempts by state lawmakers to restrict abortions. All of them were shot down by the courts over the last five years.

The latest bill would have made it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion. But Republican Mary Fallin, who has signed every anti-abortion bill that's made it to her desk, said the legislation was vague and would not withstand a legal challenge. A look at the other failed laws:

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ULTRASOUNDS

A 2010 law requiring every woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound performed and to listen to a description of the fetus was blocked before it took effect and was ultimately rejected as unconstitutional by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

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EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION

A 2013 law that would have required women to prove their age, and those under 17 to have a prescription, to obtain emergency contraceptives was permanently struck down by a district court judge as a violation of the state's "single-subject rule," a constitutional requirement that limits bills to a single subject.

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MEDICATION ABORTIONS

A 2011 law that would have restricted medication-induced abortions was struck down by a district judge, a ruling upheld by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The state appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ultimately dismissed the appeal.

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MORE MEDICATION ABORTIONS

In 2014, Fallin signed another bill aimed at restricting medication abortions, and a legal challenge in that case is still pending. Since the bill was signed into law, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new federal label for abortion drugs that undermines the Oklahoma law and those in other states that aimed to restrict medication abortions.

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ADMITTING PRIVILEGES

A 2014 law that requires physicians at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital was upheld by a state court judge earlier this year, but it remains on hold while the plaintiffs appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

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GENERAL ANTI-ABORTION LAW

A law passed in 2015 that contained four separate anti-abortion provisions was upheld earlier this year by a district court judge. It remains on hold while an appeal is pending with the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The four topics covered in the law include minors and parental consent; the preservation of tissue from certain abortions; inspection of clinics and legal liability for abortion providers.

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METHOD BAN

A law passed in 2015 that would ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure was temporarily blocked by a district court judge until a full hearing can be held on a legal challenge to the measure. The case is pending.

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Follow Sean Murphy at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy .

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This story has been corrected to show that seven abortion laws, not eight, were stopped by the courts. A law to increase the waiting period to get an abortion was upheld.