Ok legislators file to defend drug regulation

In a bi-partisan show of support, 57 Oklahoma legislators yesterday filed a brief in the Oklahoma Supreme Court defending a state law regulating abortion-inducing drugs.  

Last year, the Legislature approved House Bill 1970, which required Oklahoma physicians to administer such drugs in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines.  At least 8 women are known to have died following use of abortion-inducing drugs in an off-label, unapproved manner.  No women have died from bacterial infection following FDA-approved administration of the drugs.

An out-of-state abortion advocacy group immediately challenged the law, and a District Court struck the regulations from state statutes.  The case is now before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.  The amicus curiae, or “friend of the court”, brief was filed in support of reversing the previous decision.  

Sen. Greg Treat, co-author of HB 1970, said the law enacted critical protections for pregnant women and common-sense regulations for dangerous drugs.

“The regulations outlined in our legislation fall well within established judicial parameters, and the decision of the District Court represents an unfortunate departure from precedent,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City.  “Sadly, the decision could eliminate critical protections for pregnant patients and their unborn children.  The District Court’s decision is reflective of an ongoing shift in liberal thinking on abortion.  No longer is it important that abortion be safe, rare and legal, but instead it is a right and a priority that must be asserted even above the health and well-being of pregnant patients.  This is a great shame, and we are hopeful the decision will soon be reversed.”  

In addition to Sen. Treat and Rep. Randy Grau, principal authors of HB 1970, nearly 40 percent of the Legislature and the advocacy group Americans United for Life joined the amicus brief.  Rep. Grau, also an attorney, is representing the legislators in the Supreme Court.  The brief details evidence in support of regulating abortion-inducing drugs, and demonstrates that such regulations do not represent an undue burden on women seeking abortions.  

The Legislators filing the Brief are:

Representative Randy Grau (sponsor)
Senator Greg Treat (sponsor)
Senator Brian Bingman (President Pro Tempore)
Senators: Cliff Aldridge; Mark Allen; Don Barrington; Josh Brecheen; Rick Brinkley; Bill Brown; Greg Childers; Brian Crain; Kim David; Eddie Fields; John Ford; AJ Griffin; Jim Halligan; Rob Johnson; Clark Jolley, Ron Justice; Bryce Marlatt; Mike Mazzei; Dan Newberry; Steve Russell; Mike Schulz (Majority Floor Leader); Ralph Shortey; Frank Simpson; and Gary Stanislawski.
Representatives: Don Armes; Gary Banz; Dennis Casey; Josh Cockroft; Donnie Condit; Ann Coody; Marian Cooksey; David Dank; George Faught; Elise Hall; Tommy Hardin; Dennis Johnson; Sally Kern; Scott Martin; Steve Martin; Mark McCullough; Skye McNiel; Lewis Moore; Glen Mulready; Jason Murphey; Tom Newell; Charles Ortega; Leslie Osborn; Pat Ownbey; Marty Quinn; Dustin Roberts; Sean Roberts; Mike Sanders; Todd Thomsen; and Paul Wesselhoft.