The Edmond Sun

Local News

May 16, 2012

Edmond lawmaker defends abortion law

Oklahoma AG plans to appeal judge’s decision

OKLAHOMA CITY — A day after an Oklahoma judge struck down a law related to abortion-inducing drugs the Edmond lawmaker who authored it defended it during a press conference.

In May 2011, Gov. Mary Fallin signed House Bill 1970, authored by Rep. Randy Grau, R-Edmond, and Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City. It required that abortion providers dispense abortion-inducing drugs in accordance with Food and Drug Administration guidelines and that physicians examine their patients before prescribing an abortion-inducing drug.

The bill also required physicians to schedule a follow-up appointment and provide the patient with the drug’s label to ensure the patient is fully aware of the risks associated with the drug.

In October 2011, the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Services, on behalf of its members, and Nova Health Systems challenged the measure via a civil rights action filed in Oklahoma County District Court.

The plaintiffs argued the law sought to elevate politicians’ ideological objections to abortion over women’s health and well-being. They argued the law imposed severe, arbitrary restrictions on the use of FDA-approved abortion-inducing medications.

The restrictions prevent doctors from providing and women from receiving sound medical treatment, violating the plaintiffs’ rights “to equal protection of the laws, privacy, bodily integrity, and freedom of speech, secured by the Oklahoma Constitution,” the plaintiffs argued.

It also violates Oklahoma’s constitutional provisions against special laws and delegation of legislative authority, the plaintiffs argued.

Last fall, a judge granted a temporary injunction, preventing the law from taking effect Nov. 1, 2011. On Friday, Oklahoma County District Judge Donald Worthington sided with the plaintiffs, ruling that the unconstitutional law impeded a woman’s fundamental rights.

Tuesday morning, Grau, Treat, Daniel McConchie, vice president of governmental affairs for Americans United For Life, and other supporters attended a press conference at the Capitol. The law was based on AUL model legislation.

The organization maintains the law offers women real protections from an unscrupulous and profit-driven abortion industry. It claims women have died when given abortion-inducing drugs under unapproved protocols championed by the industry.

“We believe that this is a war on women,” McConchie said echoing an oft-used phrase during the current presidential election cycle.

Grau, who has pointed out that the FDA regulates the use of the drug RU-486 (aka mifepristone and Mifeprex), said his primary concern is that these drugs are used properly to ensure the safety of women in Oklahoma.

Grau called the ruling “unprecedented,” and said the judge long-jumped Oklahoma’s right, and a duty, to regulate the use of drugs and medicine within its borders. He compared the issue to the debate surrounding regulation and access to the non-prescription drug pseudoephedrine, a drug used to relieve nasal congestion caused by colds that is also an ingredient used to make meth.

“The judge essentially found in the state constitution a fundamental right that does not exist,” Grau said.

Oklahoma is allowed to license attorneys, insurance agents and physicians, Grau said. The judge found the state constitution provides a fundamental right to an abortion, something that has never been determined before, Grau said. He said the bill is about protecting and saving lives and he believes the ruling will be overturned.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt plans to appeal the decision.

In September 2000, the FDA approved the use of mifepristone — in combination with a second drug, misoprostol (Cytotec) — as an alternative to surgical abortion for terminating pregnancies within 49 days of the start of a woman’s menstrual period.

During the ensuing decade, use of early medication abortion expanded substantially, with a growing number of providers offering the service, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

About 1.52 million women had used the drug in the United States through the end of 2011, according to the FDA. Of those, 14 women died, mostly due to sepsis (a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection). Additionally, 612 women were hospitalized excluding deaths, 58 experienced ectopic pregnancies (a pregnancy that occurs outside the womb), 339 experienced blood loss requiring transfusions and 256 contracted infections, 48 of which were severe.

The FDA noted the events cannot with certainty be casually attributed to mifepristone due to information gaps. Reports of fatal sepsis in women undergoing medical abortion are very rare (about 1 in 100,000), according to the agency.

In 2008, 59 percent of abortion providers (1,066 facilities) provided one or more medication abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute. At least 9 percent of providers offer only early medication abortion services.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Edmond School District’s change orders anticipated

    When building new schools and classrooms there may be additional costs, but when renovating older buildings those costs can more than double, according to a Edmond School District official.
    “When remodeling, you have unknown and hidden costs and you need to include in your budgeted funds for the built-in items you can not see,” said Bret Towne, Edmond’s associate superintendent of general administration.

    July 25, 2014

  • OC welcomes missionary, military families

    For the ninth consecutive year Oklahoma Christian University will host missionary and military families returning to the United States at Global Reunion 2014.
    The July 23-27 camp has doubled in size in the last two years with 150 participants from 43 countries on campus.
    The camp is for children who are known as Third Culture Kids (TCKs) though parents are allowed to attend sessions as well. Directors Kent and Nancy Hartman, missionaries-in-residence at OC, give tools and resources to families that have lived outside the United States and are now seeking to reenter U.S. culture. The Hartmans spent more than 10 years as missionaries in Australia and were surprised by the challenges of reintegrating their family into America.

    July 25, 2014

  • Planning Commission approves rezoning

    The Edmond Planning Commission this week voted 4-0 in favor of rezoning from a single family district.  Peter and Kimberly Roberts made the request to allow a planned unit development on the southeast corner of Jackson and Lincoln Avenue, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.
    “They would like to have D-2 family (neighborhood commercial) zoning for duplexes, 14,000 square feet,” Schiermeyer said. “They can put four units on the property.”

    July 25, 2014

  • Out of the stressful wreckage: Scholarships for car crash victims

    After the dust has settled, the injuries have healed and there’s a replacement car in the driveway, victims of automobile accidents often still face an uphill battle trying to move on with their lives. According to psychologists, for some the fear never really goes away. It’s common enough that the National Institutes of Health gives physicians specific recommendations for patients exhibiting acute stress symptoms and PTSD after motor vehicle accidents. With more than 3 million injury accidents a year nationwide, the San Francisco Bay Area personal injury law firm Appel Law Firm LLP, sees their share of the aftermath — only they decided to do something about it.

    July 25, 2014

  • Agencies ask for volunteers to support grandparents who raise grandchildren

    Local law enforcement agencies are helping Sunbeam Family Services provide much-needed school supplies to grandparents who are faced with the challenge of raising their grandchildren. According to a recent census poll, there are nearly three million grandparents raising more than five million grandchildren in the United States.

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-26 YARD OF THE WEEK.jpg Ganns earn Yard of the Week honors

    This week’s “Edmond Yard of the Week” winner has been in existence for 44 years at 105 Barbara Drive, but looks fresh and new thanks to longtime residents Betty and Gordon Gann as they fill their garden spaces to overflowing with colors and textures.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_2996.JPG Krazy Daze hits downtown Edmond

    Newly transplanted Edmond residents Hannah Brenning, Cheyenne Middle School 8th grader; Jordan Brenning, Cross Timbers 4th grader; and Sydney Brenning, North High School freshman; check out the items in front of Sterling's in downtown Edmond during the Krazy Daze Sale lasting through Saturday. Businesses will open their doors at 10 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • MS_weather graphic 1.jpg Chances for rain to follow triple-digit highs

    Chances for rain on multiple days will follow near triple-digit highs during the weekend.
    A National Weather Service-issued heat advisory is in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday and afternoon temperatures are expected to top out in the upper 90s to lower 100s into the weekend. Maximum heat-index values will range from the upper 90s to 105-110 degrees through Sunday.
    Cooler weather is expected next week as a strong cold front passes over the region.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Candidates disagree with White House’s minimum wage

    Gubernatorial candidate Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs, said the state needs to have serious growth in high-paying living wage jobs that will provide for Oklahomans.
    Dorman cautioned that while Oklahoma’s jobless rate improved in June, the state’s rankings for the well-being of children has dropped from 36th to 39th place, for one of the largest declines in the U.S., according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Project.
    The unemployment rate in June dropped to 4.5 percent, down a percentage point from 4.6 percent in May, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Gov. Mary Fallin said this week.
    The state’s unemployment rate was more than 7 percent when Fallin was elected during the brink of the Great Depression. Alex Weintz, communications director for Fallin, pointed out that per capita income in Oklahoma was second in the nation from 2011 to 2013.
    The non partisan Congressional Budget office reported in February that raising the minimum wage could kill a half-million jobs in the United States.
    According to The Washington Times, CBO analysts reported, “Once the other changes in income were taken into account, families whose income would be below six times the poverty threshold under current law would see a small increase in income, on net, and families whose income would be higher under current law would see reductions in income, on net.”
    President Barack Obama in February signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour.
    Weintz said the governor believes tax cuts have enabled families to keep more of their money.
    No one is talking about the under-employment rate of families working minimum wage jobs, Dorman said.
    “It’s all fine and good when you have fast-food jobs that don’t cover the bills and that counts toward your unemployment rate.”
    Oklahoma’s minimum wage reflects the federal minimum wage set at $7.25 an hour, a standard set in 2009.
    Fallin signed legislation this year to prohibit municipalities from raising their local minimum wage above $7.25 an hour.
    “If the minimum wage goes up to $15 in Oklahoma City, all of the sudden you would drive retail, business, service industry locations outside of the city limits and that would be detrimental to the economy, consumers and to businesses,” Weintz said.
    Fallin has said that she opposes raising the minimum wage in Oklahoma because it would stifle job growth for small business and lay off workers. A lot of people earning the $7.25 minimum wage are part-time workers and many of them are students, Weintz said.
    “We believe raising the minimum wage is not a good way to address poverty,” Weintz said. “A lot of people earning the minimum wage are actually people living with their parents or other people who are employed full time, and in many cases they are middle class families. So it’s not a good tool to reduce poverty.”
    Dorman said he does not necessarily support the proposed $10.10 an hour minimum federal minimum wage that is being discussed by Congress.
    “I think we need to have a living wage in Oklahoma that is reflective of our economy,” Dorman said.
    About 102,300 jobs have been added in Oklahoma since Fallin took office in January 2011, according to her office.
    The cost of living in the national economy tends to be higher in some other states, Dorman said.
    So a minimum wage increase should be tied to economic gains so that families can pay their bills and afford to care for their children, Dorman said.
    Independent candidates for governor include Richard Prawdzienski of Edmond, Joe Sills of Oklahoma City and Kimberly Willis of Oklahoma City.

    July 24, 2014

  • Forced Entry 1 Firefighters sharpen forced entry skills

    Of all burglaries, 60.5 percent involved forcible entry, according to recent FBI statistics.
    As a result, many home and businesses are installing a greater number of complex mechanisms on their doors and windows. Edmond Fire Maj. Joe Elam said 10 local firefighters recently sharpened their skills during a forcible entry class offered by IRONS and LADDERS, LLC., of Lawrence, Kan.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results