Health Highlights: Oct. 13, 2008

"We do not really have long-term efficacy and safety data in healthy people. These are studies that really need to be done," Sahakian said. "The use of cognitive enhancing drugs is spreading to younger and younger people. That's a concern."


Ultrasound Law Challenged in Oklahoma Abortion Case

An Oklahoma law forbidding a woman from having an abortion until she has an ultrasound and has a physician give her a description of the fetus is being challenged in court.

According to the Associated Press, the law, which goes into effect Nov. 1, is being contested on grounds that it violates a woman's privacy, endangers health and assaults dignity. Oklahoma is joining Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi as the states having a mandatory ultrasound and consultation law, the wire service reported.

The lawsuit was filed late last week in Oklahoma County District Court by the Center for Reproductive Rights, an abortion rights advocacy group, the AP reported. What makes the Oklahoma law different from the other three states, the wire service reported, is that the ultrasound picture of the fetus is to be turned toward the woman as the doctor describes the dimensions of the fetus to her.

The Oklahoma state Legislature overrode Gov. Brad Henry's veto, and the bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Todd Lamb, told the AP: "I introduced the bill because I wanted to encourage life in society. In Oklahoma, society is on the side of life."

The plaintiff's lead lawyer, Stephanie Toti, told the wire service, "Anti-choice activists will stop at nothing to prevent a woman from getting an abortion, but trying to manipulate a woman's decisions about her own life and health goes beyond the pale."

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