Judges, legislators and activists are tangling with some interesting back-and-forth attempts to regulate the abortion industry in Oklahoma and give women an informed choice…..or not.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has declared that an Oklahoma law regulating abortion practice and requiring ultrasounds for women seeking abortion violated the state constitution’s single-subject rule, saying it contained multiple subjects for legislation.

The high court struck down SB 1878, upholding the August 2009 decision of Oklahoma County Judge Vicki Robertson, who ruled the multiple legislative mandates in the law required separate bills to pass constitutional muster.

OK, let’s untangle this…

Sounds like abortion backers won on a technicality, and they did.

The abortion law required abortionists to perform an ultrasound within an hour before the abortion procedure, and established the right of women to engage in civil action against abortionists who violated the law.

Excellent provision for women’s rights to information about their pregnancy before terminating it.

The law also required abortion clinics to have a notice prominently displayed in plain view declaring that: “it is against the law for anyone, regardless of his or her relationship to you, to force you to have an abortion.  By law, we cannot perform, induce, prescribe for, or provide you with the means for an abortion unless we have your freely given and voluntary consent.  …  You have the right to contact any local or state law enforcement agency to receive protection from any actual or threatened physical abuse or violence.”

Good, solid and vital information necessary for women’s rights to protection and the real freedom of choice (for crying out loud).

The law also regulated the prescribing of RU-486, dealt with informed consent, and established rules banning “wrongful birth” lawsuits.

This was all about protecting women, their rights, and the ability to make a choice based on information of all options and consequences. Who in the world (OK, in the state), was against that?

The abortion industry, of course. And those ideologically aligned with them.

So the judge said those provisions of the law were separate ones rolled into one, and you can’t do that, and therefore the law was struck down in toto.

Attorneys for the state argued that the bill was constitutional because it addressed the same subject, namely, abortion.

But that’s too obvious and logical.

They said that the Court’s interpretation would have a paralyzing effect on the legislative process not intended when the single-subject rule was adopted, by turning every topical sentence into a new subject for legislation.

That’s how abortion activists and their ideological cohorts on the bench need to break down – or at least slow down – the process. Piecemeal….nickel-and-dime it….hairsplit the syntax.

Proponents of the law were prepared for this.

…Oklahoma legislators have already submitted single-subjects bills – plan B in case the state Supreme Court rejected the law – that covers the multiple aspects of the single bill struck down by the high court.

For instance…

A bill requiring abortionists to give women ultrasounds before an abortion passed the state House of Representatives on Thursday.

OK, good. Keep at it.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....