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Pro-Life Student Group Sues OSU Over Anti-Abortion Display
An attorney for Cowboys for Life, a student organization at Oklahoma State University, filed a lawsuit against school leaders. The lawsuit claims the organization's first amendment rights were violated when university staff would not let it display anti-abortion material where for how it wanted.
"We cannot let the popularity of a message or a disagreement with a message be squelched under the first amendment," said attorney Brent Olsen, who is representing Cowboys for Life. "That is a guaranteed right in this country. You cannot let somebody, particularly a state official decide what speech you're going to protect and what speech you will not protect."
The lawsuit said OSU would not approved reservation request for a display near the student union or library in October, both high traffic areas. Instead, the lawsuit said the display was only allowed in an out if the way area by classroom buildings, where students are less likely to engage in displays.
Students Fox 25 spoke with said the images were very graphic. Some thought the nature of the pictures are what affected the popularity of display.
"It [was], like, right there right by classroom buildings so basically everyone has to pass it to get to their classes. People would avoid it," said freshman Shannon O'Kane.
O'Kane said she agreed with the university's decision to limit the location of the display.
"Theses photographs may be graphic that are at issue here but again they show the end rest of a very tragedy of abortion itself," Olsen said.
He said the first amendment does not allow for free speech applications to be content based.
The lawsuit asks for a change to school policies and "nominal damages or... compensatory damages in an amount exceeding $10,000."
In a statement OSU said:
"As stated in OSU policy, the freedom of expression and assembly are the hallmark of an academic community. OSU offers students and others fair and equal opportunity for discussion. The university is reviewing the lawsuit."
Posted: Tuesday, January 29 2013, 10:07 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Pace slows in testing after Tulsa health scare
May 24, 2013 12:51 GMT
TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Additional tests reveal no new cases of hepatitis or the virus that causes AIDS among patients of a Tulsa oral surgeon accused of running dirty clinics.
The pace of people seeking testing has slowed. About 3,900 patients of Dr. W. Scott Harrington have gone to state clinics for testing. In March, health departments urged testing for 7,000 patients. Just 54 patients sought tests within the past week.
Inspectors said they found unsanitary conditions inside Harrington's clinics at Tulsa and Owasso.
So far, 70 patients have tested positive for hepatitis C, five for hepatitis B and three for HIV, but there is no indication the diseases spread at the clinics. Health experts say the spread of disease in dental clinics is extremely rare.
Harrington is cooperating with the investigation.
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