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.
This was the first session after the Senate switched to a Republican
majority, giving the party control of the entire Legislature for the
first time in the state's history. With conservative members firmly in charge,
they began the session promising to remake government. Progressives
had good reason to worry that draconian measures were on the way.
While there were some bad laws passed this year, a combination of
compromise and gubernatorial vetoes meant that conservative gains were
evolutionary, not revolutionary.