Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jubilee Campaign Law of Life Project Fights for Women's Right to Informed Consent Before Their Abortions

On Behalf of Women Harmed by the Lack of Informed Consent Before Their Abortions Jubilee Campaign Law of Life Project's Attorneys Take Their Case for a Woman's Right to See Her Ultrasound to the Oklahoma Supreme Court
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla., Oct. 10, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Yesterday, representing American Victims of Abortion, including Oklahoma women, attorneys for the Jubilee Campaign's Law of Life Project, and the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office, representing the State of Oklahoma, jointly filed their opening brief-in-chief with the Oklahoma Supreme Court, appealing a district court decision finding unconstitutional under the Oklahoma Constitution a law requiring abortionists to show and explain ultrasound images of an unborn child to the mother before obtaining her full informed consent perform an abortion.
This law, enacted by the Oklahoma Legislature in April 2010, requires abortionists to give women the opportunity to see and hear their child via ultrasound before giving their informed consent to an abortion.  The evidence gathered in this case demonstrates that the abortionists affected by this law already use ultrasounds in the course of performing abortions, but don't usually share the information with the mother prior to their abortions.
Abortionists in Oklahoma filed suit challenging the law almost immediately after it was enacted, making seven arguments as to why they believe the law is unconstitutional.  The Law of Life Project, on behalf of American Victims of Abortion, who intervened in the case, working in conjunction with the attorneys for the State of Oklahoma, filed more than 1700 pages of evidence, including the expert testimony of Oklahoma doctors, demonstrating why each of the abortionists' seven claims was erroneous. 
The district court judge ignored the evidence, however, and ruled that the law was unconstitutional under the Oklahoma Constitution because it was an invalid "special law" -- that is, it improperly addresses only abortion procedures, as opposed to other surgical procedures.  As the brief-in-chief appealing that decision explains, "[u]nderstood in its most basic terms, the district court, in error, ruled that the Oklahoma Constitution forbids legislation requiring women to receive meaningful medical information -- information currently being obtained by [the abortionists] through pre-abortion ultrasounds that these providers require and routinely perform."  The court ignored the ample evidence submitted which demonstrates that abortion is a unique medical procedure because it involves the termination of human life, and thus cannot be compared to any other surgical procedure -- a fact that the Oklahoma Supreme Court has noted in other cases.
In his March 28, 2012 Order consisting of only three paragraphs, the district court judge dismissed the case, refusing to consider any party's (even the abortionists') arguments on the other issues raised by the complaint.  After the judge refused to reconsider his decision, the Attorney General's Office and American Victims of Abortion are now asking the Oklahoma Suprme Court to reverse the district court's judgment and let the law go into full effect.
On appeal, the Law of Life Project argues that, not only did the district court judge err in finding that the Ultrasound Act was an unconstitutional special law, but that, in fact, all the evidence clearly demonstrates that the Act is wholly valid, and is not unconstitutional under any of the abortionists' seven reasons for challenging the law. 
Sam Casey, General Counsel for the Jubilee Campaign's Law of Life Project, stated:
    "When lives hang in the balance, more than 1,700 pages of evidence should not be dismissed by a mere three paragraphs.  We are optimistic that this appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court will allow us to show that the Ultrasound Bill is constitutional.  Abortionists in Oklahoma are already performing ultrasounds in the course of the abortion procedure; this law simply requires them to share that information with women who must give their informed consent when making the life or death decision to continue their pregnancy or have an abortion.  The undisputed admitted evidence shows that seeing her ultrasound has the positive and significant impact of more fully informing a woman about her pregnancy, regardless of the decision she ultimately makes.  The evidence also showed that after they see their ultrasound many abortion-minded women in Oklahoma have changed their minds and decided to carry their children to full term. It is our fervent hope that this law will soon go into effect, allowing Oklahoma to join the many other states which enforce a national standard of medical care in requiring that women be able to give true informed consent before choosing whether to continue their pregnancies or not."
To learn more about the Law of Life Project's involvement with this case, please see here.
About the Jubilee Campaign's Law of Life Project
The Law of Life Project is a public interest legal organization dedicated to legally defending the right to life and dignity of the human being from biological conception until natural death in all matters worldwide where such a defense is required.  Jubilee Campaign is an international charitable organization that seeks to be a "voice for the voiceless" promoting the human rights of all, particularly women and children in countries which imprison, terrorize or otherwise oppress them.

Contact: Samuel B. Casey,
703-624-4092 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            703-624-4092      end_of_the_skype_highlighting cell,
202-587-5652 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202-587-5652      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

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