The Norman Transcript

August 20, 2013

Mornin-after pill restrictions blocked

By Tim Talley
The Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma judge Monday blocked a new state law that makes it harder for women to obtain the morning-after pill.

In June, the federal government approved unrestricted over-the-counter sales for the emergency contraceptive. Oklahoma’s law was passed in response to the government’s plans to do so and requires women 17 and older to show identification to a pharmacist to obtain the Plan B One-Step pill and generic emergency contraceptives. It also requires women under 17 to have a prescription to obtain them.

The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice and Jo Ann Mangili of Mounds, the mother of a 15-year-old girl, alleging the rule is unconstitutional and discriminates against Oklahoma women.

District Judge Lisa Davis granted the temporary restraining order just days before the law was to take effect Thursday.

More than a dozen women wearing pink shirts, some of which bore the words “Trust Oklahoma Women,” attended the hearing.

Martha Skeeters, president of the coalition, said she was pleased with the judge’s action.

“The outcome today is good news for the health of Oklahoma women,” Skeeters said.

Diane Clay, director of communications for Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office, said it is disappointed.

“The law simply keeps requirements the same as they have been for more than a decade, requiring those under age 17 to have a prescription to buy Plan B emergency contraceptives,” Clay said in a statement.