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Oklahoma's State Supreme Court Struck Down Another Abortion Law

SB 642 proposed a few different abortion provisions, which violated the state's requirement that all laws focus on one single item and left the court with an "all-or-nothing" decision.
October 4, 2016, 3:33pm
Photo via Flickr user thecrazyfilmgirl

The Oklahoma State Supreme Court brought down a Senate-proposed abortion law on Tuesday, because the law violated the state's "single subject" requirement, FOX 25 reports.

In Oklahoma, each new proposed law is required only to have one subject so that the court has the option to veto it without losing critical items. That way, lawmakers can't tack on some extra stuff to a bill and sneak in a separate law. The proposed abortion law, known as SB 642, proposed a few different abortion regulations that were unrelated enough that all nine justices felt they were faced with an "all-or-nothing" decision.


"We find that each of the four sections of SB 642, lack a common purpose and are not germane, relative and cognate," the court wrote of its decision. "[W]e find the provisions are so unrelated that those voting on this bill were faced with a constitutionally prohibited all-or-nothing choice to ensure the passage of favorable legislation."

Of its different subjects, SB 642 proposed new legislation that would require minors to get consent before getting an abortion and guidelines for preserving fetal tissue, as well as updated licensing and inspection provisions for facilities. It also suggested penalties for abortion providers who violate existing laws.

"Although each section relates in some way to abortion, the broad sweep of each section does not cure the single subject defects in this bill," the opinion said.

Last March, the Oklahoma Supreme Court threw out another abortion law seeking to make the service illegal and saught to make providers and women who received the procedure guilty of murder.

Read: Why the Supreme Court's Abortion Decision Is So Important