In a significant decision last month, an Oklahoma County District Court ruled that a 2008 anti-choice law violated the state constitution. The law in question (SB 1878)
was more burdensome than any prior bill regulating pre-abortion
ultrasounds passed in the country, requiring women to undergo an
ultrasound and listen to a doctor describe fetal characteristics before
consenting to the procedure. Opponents argued
that the law invades a woman's right to privacy and violates doctors'
freedom of speech.
On March 10th, the Obama Administration issued a notice and comment rulemaking
to fully rescind the Bush Administration’s HHS midnight regulation that
undermines patients’ access to basic health care services and
information. The deadline for submitting comments in support of protecting patients' rights is midnight tonight, April 9th.
The Kansas State Supreme Court temporarily blocked
a grand jury investigating an abortion provider from collecting more
than 2,000 patient records, including patients who didn't end up having
an abortion. The provider, Dr. Tiller, and his attorneys objected to
the subpoena of patient records as a violation of women's constitutional rights. The Center for Reproductive Rights also filed a petition
on behalf of patients to stop the subpoena's. The Court, at least for
now, agreed the subpoenas raised "significant issues" about patients'
privacy. A final decision will be made by February 25th.