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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: March 29, 2012

Sen. Constance N. Johnson
Sen. Constance N. Johnson

Johnson says court ruling a victory for women’s rights

Sen. Constance N. Johnson says Wednesday’s ruling by Oklahoma County District Judge Bryan Dixon is a victory for women’s rights. The judge ruled that a 2010 law requiring women to have ultrasounds before having abortions is unconstitutional.

“This was a highly contentious bill when it went through the legislature. I continue to commend former Gov. Brad Henry’s wisdom in vetoing this measure and am still shocked by the Republican legislative majority’s willingness to override his veto,” said Johnson, D-Oklahoma County. “The court’s ruling represents a victory for women and their rights to make decisions about their bodies without interference from the government. This ruling underscores and encourages the efforts of legislators, like myself, who support and celebrate women, and who are striving to maintain women’s status and rights.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights, a New York-based abortion rights group, challenged the Ultrasound Act on behalf of Nova Health Systems, which operates Reproductive Services of Tulsa and the law has been blocked by a temporary injunction since May 2010.

“As a legislator who has opposed the last six years of continual assaults by the legislative majority on women's reproductive health choices, I and others have always held out hope that the courts would return us to some semblance of balance and justice for Oklahoma women. Of the many steps backward that we've taken in recent years, this is one step forward, in the right direction,” said Johnson.

Johnson pointed out that money spent by the state defending the outrageous law could have been better used for fundamental state services.

“Today’s ruling further illuminates the extent to which the legislature will go to force its will upon the women of Oklahoma, even when such proposals are clearly unconstitutional,” said Johnson. “The amount of money spent defending this egregious, now defunct provision could have been better spent on programs and services for those Oklahoma children—including newborns up to age one and the children of incarcerated parents—who are already here and struggling daily because of our state’s policies.”

For more information, contact:
Sen. Johnson: (405) 521-5531

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