Abortion supporters ask Oklahoma court to put 3 laws on hold

Oct 14, 2021, 10:00 AM | Updated: 3:09 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Reproductive rights supporters have filed an appeal asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to put three anti-abortion laws on hold, including restrictions on medication-induced abortions.

The appeal Wednesday comes after District Judge Cindy Truong said she would allow the laws to take effect Nov. 1, pending the outcome of a legal challenge, the Tulsa World reported.

The case in Oklahoma County District Court challenged five abortion laws that were enacted last Legislative session. Truong temporarily blocked two of the five laws from taking effect, including a measure similar to a Texas abortion law that effectively bans the procedure after about six weeks of pregnancy.

The other three would create new restrictions on medication-induced abortions and require all doctors who perform abortions to be board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology.

If allowed to take effect, the “laws will decimate abortion access in Oklahoma,” according to the suit. “Oklahomans will face tremendous delays and costs in accessing abortion, and many will be entirely prevented from obtaining care in the state.”

A spokesperson for the state attorney general’s office, which has defended the new laws, did not immediately return phone calls for comment on Thursday.

A spokesperson for Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who signed the legislation, also did not reply immediately to a phone call for comment.

The requirement that doctors be certified as an OB-GYN will drastically reduce access “by arbitrarily prohibiting highly trained, board certified family medicine doctors from providing abortions,” the suit says.

The plaintiffs are asking that the Oklahoma Supreme Court fast track the appeal.

The medication-induced abortion restrictions include requirements previously struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Those include an admitting privileges requirement that has been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court and an ultrasound requirement that is more restrictive than an ultrasound law the state Supreme Court already struck down.

Abortion clinics in Oklahoma already are being overwhelmed by patients from Texas, where the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a law to take effect on Sept. 1 that made it illegal to perform abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, which is usually around the sixth week of pregnancy.

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Abortion supporters ask Oklahoma court to put 3 laws on hold