A new law in Oklahoma, which would add new regulations for abortion facilities, was deemed unconstitutional by the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday, as reported by ABC News. The proposed bill would have added new licensing and inspection rules to these facilities, but the courts decided the new bill had too many topics attached to it. Thus, it was struck down.
ABC News reported the intended law, Senate Bill 642, would have included four abortion-related matters, but under the state’s constitution, legislation can only include a single subject. The Court wrote in its decision that the four components of the bill lacked a cohesive agenda and could possibly confuse some state agencies:
“We find that each of the four sections of SB 642, lack a common purpose and are not germane, relative and cognate. [W]e find the provisions are so unrelated that those voting on this bill were faced with a constitutionally prohibited all-or-nothing choice to ensure the passage of favorable legislation.”
The state has seen varying degrees of development regarding this issue over the past year. In May, Governor Mary Fallin had vetoed a controversial bill that would have made performing abortions punishable by law, but it was a bit more complicated than that. The state already makes unlicensed abortions a felony, but the vetoed law would have held doctors, who were exempt from the original law, accountable in the same way. If the bill had stood, licensed doctors would have faced up to three years in prison for performing an abortion. Much like the current bill that was recently shot down, Fallin said the bill was too vague.