Judge strikes down Okla. contraception age rules

Friday , February 28, 2014 - 12:32 PM

Bloomberg News

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma judge voided a law requiring proof of age for the purchase of an emergency- contraception drug and a prescription for buyers under 17.

Judge Lisa Davis in Oklahoma City on Thursday struck down the law, signed last year by Governor Mary Fallin, the judge’s law clerk, Charles Scarborough, said Friday by phone.

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed suit in August seeking to invalidate the measure. The organization argued it violated a woman’s right to contraception under the Oklahoma constitution and that the underlying legislation breached a state law requiring bills to address just a single subject.

Davis agreed the legislation violated the single-subject rule, “a state constitutional rule designed to prevent abuses of power by the legislature,” according to a statement issued by the center today. She had blocked its enforcement on Aug. 19.

“Oklahoma’s restrictions on emergency contraception are blatantly discriminatory and a clear violation of the state’s constitutional protections against abuses of power by the legislature,” David Brown, an attorney for the center, said in the statement.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the medication’s use for all women of “child-bearing potential” on June 20, about three weeks after Fallin signed the state’s measure into law.

The bill initially addressed only health insurance benefit forms. It was amended to include the emergency contraception- related rules, the Reproductive Rights Center said.

The New York-based group sued on behalf of the mother of a teenage girl and the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, an advocacy group.

Diane Clay and Aaron Cooper, spokesmen for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, did not immediately reply to an e-mailed request for comment on the decision.

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