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Judge delays Oklahoma plan to post abortion details online

An Oklahoma law would require women having an abortion to fill out an anonymous questionnaire, the results of which would be made public. A legal challenge to the law will be decided Feb. 19, a judge said Friday.

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An Oklahoma judge Friday put off until Feb. 19 any decision about an anti-abortion law that critics have said is “like undressing a woman in public.”

The law, which was to have gone into effect on Nov. 1, requires doctors performing abortions to ask the patient 37 questions – from her age to her marital status and financial condition – which would then be posted on a public website.

Supporters of the bill say the information is crucial to understanding why women have abortions. Opponents say the questions are invasive and the public posting of the answers could easily lead to women being identified in rural parts of the state, even though their names are not used.

Lora Joyce Davis, one of the women bringing the lawsuit, told ABC: “It's like undressing women in public, exposing their most personal issues on the Internet.”

Oklahoma's aims

The Oklahoma Legislature is quickly becoming one of the most stringently antiabortion statehouses in America. Indeed, some experts suggest it is becoming a laboratory for potential federal antiabortion law, drawing a comparison between Oklahoma’s new laws and the Nebraska partial-birth abortion ban that was struck down by the Supreme Court before being made federal law by Congress.

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