Oklahoma Emergency Contraception Age Rules Voided by Judge

An Oklahoma judge voided a law requiring proof of age for the purchase of an emergency-contraception drug and a prescription for buyers under 17.

Judge Lisa T. Davis in Oklahoma City yesterday struck down the law, signed last year by Governor Mary Fallin, the judge’s law clerk, Charles Scarborough, said today by phone.

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed suit in August seeking to invalidate the measure. The organization argued it violated a woman’s right to contraception under the Oklahoma constitution and that the underlying legislation breached a state law requiring bills to address just a single subject.

Davis agreed the legislation violated the single-subject rule, “a state constitutional rule designed to prevent abuses of power by the legislature,” according to a statement issued by the center today. She had blocked its enforcement on Aug. 19.

“Oklahoma’s restrictions on emergency contraception are blatantly discriminatory and a clear violation of the state’s constitutional protections against abuses of power by the legislature,” David Brown, an attorney for the center, said in the statement.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the medication’s use for all women of “child-bearing potential” on June 20, about three weeks after Fallin signed the state’s measure into law.

Amended Bill

The bill initially addressed only health insurance benefit forms. It was amended to include the emergency contraception-related rules, the Reproductive Rights Center said.

The New York-based group sued on behalf of the mother of a teenage girl and the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, an advocacy group.

Diane Clay and Aaron Cooper, spokesmen for Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt, did not immediately reply to an e-mailed request for comment on the decision.

The case is Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice v. Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy, CV-2013-1640, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, District Court (Oklahoma City).

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Harris in federal court in Chicago at aharris16@bloomberg.net; Dawn McCarty in Wilmington, Delaware, at dmccarty@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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