When it comes to fighting for reproductive rights, there’s often no sweeter word than “unconstitutional.”
It’s sounding especially sweet today: A district court just struck down Oklahoma’s demeaning and invasive mandatory ultrasound law for being an “unconstitutional special law”—treating abortion differently from other medical procedures without justification.
Left unchallenged, this law would have forced a woman seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound, have the image placed in front of her, and hear it described in detail—even if she says NO.
But the Center for Reproductive Rights did challenge the law, and the fundamental rights of Oklahoma women have been rightfully protected by the courts. Today’s ruling resoundingly affirms what should not be a matter of controversy at all—that women have both a fundamental right to make their own choices about their reproductive health, and that government has no place in their decisions.
Similar laws in Texas and Virginia have illustrated the harm that results when these laws go into effect. Women feel humiliated, even bullied by their own doctors—and access to essential reproductive health care services is severely threatened.
Today’s decision means that Oklahoma women will not be subjected to this kind of treatment—and it adds to the growing momentum of a nationwide backlash against the overreaching of lawmakers hostile to women, their doctors, and their rights.
We still have a long road ahead of us in the battle to reclaim our reproductive rights—but today we celebrate and stand proudly with the women of Oklahoma.