Now-overturned abortion law aimed at protecting women, archbishop says

Categories: Nation/World

Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley called it “gravely disappointing” the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider a challenge to a ruling that overturned an Oklahoma law requiring women who seek an abortion to get an ultrasound. By declining to hear the appeal, the high court “declined to support a law that would assist and affirm women as they face a serious moral dilemma,” the archbishop said in a statement. The 2010 law was passed in April that year and in May, a district court judge granted a temporary restraining order against it. The court issued a permanent injunction in March 2012. The Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s ruling in December 2012. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review that ruling, arguing the state court had become “too protective of abortion rights.” Using the state Supreme Court’s logic, he wrote, all abortion regulations would be ruled out “no matter how medically sound or minimally burdensome of the right recognized in Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 decision, with its companion ruling, Doe v. Bolton, that legalized abortion virtually on demand across the United States. In a statement sent to Catholic News Service Nov. 18, Archbishop Coakley said: “A woman who seeks an abortion is often very vulnerable, and women who have had abortions are at increased risk of anxiety, depression and substance abuse. We have a responsibility to ensure that no one is deceived or exploited to advance a particular agenda.”