By Dave Andrusko
As our regulars know, it is the nature of pro-life legislation for legislators to pass the measure followed immediately by pro-abortion legal challenges. Many times the initial rulings do not go our way, sometimes they do.
As NRL News Today reported last month, in a four-page ruling, Oklahoma County District Judge Thomas Prince denied the request by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) to declare a four-part pro-life measure unconstitutional.
This week CRR (which has sued the state at least eight times since 2010) was back in court, asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to declare Senate Bill 642 unconstitutional. It should be noted that the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s November 16 stay on enforcement of the law, pending further order of the state supreme court, was not affected by Judge Prince’s ruling.
CRR is representing abortionist Larry A. Burns, a familiar figure in abortion litigation. Burns argued Bill 642 violates the Oklahoma Constitution’s single-subject mandate.
“Burns says the bill’s four differing provisions give it a ‘hodgepot character,’” according to David Lee of the Courthouse News Service.
Judge Prince was un-persuaded. He wrote, “”A review of the plain meaning of the four sections of Senate Bill 642 shows that each provision ‘reflect[s] a common, closely akin theme or purpose’ intended to expand the available enforcement mechanisms for redress of violations of the various laws that regulate abortions.”
Lee reports that the four provisions include
Section 1 levies criminal and civil penalties for helping a minor get an abortion without parental consent; Section 2 requires girls younger than 14 to submit fetal tissue samples to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for rape investigation; Section 3 allows the Department of Health to conduct unannounced searches of abortion facilities; Section 4 deems anyone who violates S.B. 642 guilty of a felony, punishable by fines of up $100,000 per day of violation.