Edmondson to appeal parental notification law

Friday, June 28th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson predicted victory in an appeal of a federal judge's ruling that overturned a state parental notification law.

The 2001 measure threatened doctors with financial liability if they didn't notify a teen-ager's parents before performing an abortion.

The law had been in effect about a year before U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan threw it out on grounds it didn't meet U.S. Supreme Court guidelines.

Nova Health Systems, which does business as Reproductive Services, a Tulsa abortion provider, challenged the law in court.

Among the problems Eagan had with the law was that it doesn't have a required exemption for medical emergencies or give minors an opportunity to go to court and show they are mature enough to make a decision on abortion without parental involvement, the judge said.

Eagan added that the law appeared to be an attempt to circumvent constitutional requirements.

Edmondson said he decided to appeal because the nation's high court never has ruled on the exact issues involved in the Oklahoma law.

``We are not telling the courts that previous rulings are wrong,'' he said. ``We're telling the courts that they have never ruled on this specific language _ that this language is distinguishable from prior cases.''

State Sen. Scott Pruitt, R-Broken Arrow, said Thursday that the Oklahoma law differs from other state laws because it doesn't mandate notification.

Pruitt and other state legislators encouraged Edmondson earlier this week to appeal the ruling.

``I think we have an opportunity to set a precedent on a unique approach,'' Pruitt said.