An Oklahoma judge has struck down a state law requiring women seeking abortions to have ultrasounds. The district judge decided the law—which required doctors to put an image of the ultrasound in front of the woman and give her a detailed description of the fetus—was unconstitutional because it violated doctors' First Amendment rights by forcing them to essentially read speech written by lawmakers, reports Jezebel. The statute is a "special law" that treats abortion differently than other medical procedures, the judge noted.
The measure became law in 2010 after the state legislature overrode then-Gov. Brad Henry's veto, but it was never enforced because of a lawsuit from the Center for Reproductive Rights. The group's president described the ruling as part of a nationwide backlash against lawmakers' attacks on women's rights. "The court has resoundingly affirmed 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," she said. The decision comes as anti-abortion laws in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Idaho appear to be dead or dying, notes the Washington Post. (Read more Oklahoma stories.)