Abortion Constitutionality Court cases Medical abortion Ultrasound

Two abortion regulations go to US Supreme Court Conference

On June 20, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to hear two abortion cases coming out of Oklahoma.  The Oklahoma legislature has long been a leader in prolife legislation.  The main opponent of abortion regulation and legislation in the state is a Tulsa abortion clinic, Reproductive Service, which is part of the larger abortion company, Nova Health Systems, based in Texas.

In the first case, Oklahoma has a law requiring a pre-abortion ultrasound that is displayed and explained to the woman prior to the performance of any abortion.  This law has been challenged in a case captioned, Nova Health Systems, et al., v. Scott Pruitt, et all.  The state trial court struck down the law, stating that it violated the state constitution by requiring a procedure prior to abortion that is not required before all other medical procedures.  The Oklahoma Supreme Court affirmed on the basis that the ultrasound requirement violated the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.  The Oklahoma Attorney General has asked the US Supreme Court to hear the case, and reverse on the basis that ultrasound requirements are constitutional.

Oklahoma also has a law requiring any medical abortion utilize the protocol used when RU-486 was approved by the FDA. In Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice v. Cline,  Nova Health Systems, along with the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, sued claiming that abortion providers should be able to administer RU-486 in other ways.  The Oklahoma trial court created an implied right to abortion in the Oklahoma Constitution, and struck down the law as a burden on the newly created “right.” The Oklahoma Supreme Court affirmed the trial court on the basis that the law violated the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.  The Oklahoma Attorney General has asked the US Supreme Court to hear the case, and reverse.

Keep your fingers crossed that the Supreme Court takes the cases.

Teresa Collett

Teresa Stanton Collett is a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches bioethics, property law, and constitutional law. A nationally prominent speaker and scholar, she is active in attempts to rebuild the Culture of Life and protect the institutions of marriage and family. She often represents groups of state legislators, the Catholic Medical Association, and the Christian Medical and Dental Association in appellate case related to medical-legal matters. She represented the governors of Minnesota and North Dakota before the U.S. Supreme Court as amici curiae regarding the effectiveness of those states’ parental involvement laws. She has served as special attorney general for Oklahoma and Kansas related to legislation designed to protect the well-being of minors and unborn children. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has testified before committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittees on the Constitution, as well as numerous legislative committees in the states.