Oklahoma adopts tough law to restrict abortion
THE US state of Oklahoma has passed some of the country's toughest restrictions on abortion, requiring women to undergo an ultrasound just one hour before having a termination.
Even women who are victims of rape or incest will be required to view the image prior to the procedure and listen to a detailed description of what can be seen.
They would also be given vaginal rather than abdominal ultrasounds as doctors are required to use the method that "would display the embryo or foetus more clearly".
The laws, which were immediately challenged yesterday by "pro-choice" groups, also allow doctors to withhold test results showing foetal defects.
The Centre for Reproductive Rights has filed a lawsuit claiming the ultrasound law breaks the state's constitution.
President Nancy Northup said the new requirement "intrudes upon a patient's privacy and violates free speech rights by forcing patients to listen to information unnecessary for medical care".
Abortion has been allowed in the US since the controversial 1973 Roe V Wade decision in the Supreme Court, which ruled states could not prohibit access to abortions prior to foetal viability, generally around 24 weeks, or when the pregnancy threatened the woman's health. (©Daily Telegraph, London)