NPR logo Judge Keeps New Oklahoma Abortion Law On Hold


Judge Keeps New Oklahoma Abortion Law On Hold

A district court in Oklahoma on Friday blocked a new abortion law that would require women to provide detailed information about why they want the procedure. That information, names omitted, would then be posted on a state Web site.

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Judge Daniel Owens extended the temporary restraining order already in place, which means the law continues to be blocked for now. The measure includes more than 30 questions a woman seeking an abortion would have to answer, including details about whether she is having relationship problems or whether she can't afford a child.

"We are very pleased with today's ruling. This law is a profound intrusion on women's privacy and a waste of taxpayers' money," said Jennifer Mondino, staff attorney at the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which is challenging the law. "Women in Oklahoma should not have to jump through hoops to access legal medical care and the government has no business violating the state constitution to impose those obstacles."

Anti-abortion groups say the law would help the state find out why women are seeking abortions and that could lead to changes in public policy.

The merits of the law were not discussed Friday. Instead, the center argued a procedural issue, saying it violates Oklahoma's single-subject rule because it includes a ban on gender selection and additional health department requirements.

The law remains on hold until Feb. 19, when the case will be heard.