Three cases were blocked by Oklahoma’s Supreme Court abortionThere will be restrictions Monday to ensure that laws banning medication abortions and restricting who can perform it won’t go into effect next week, as legal challenges continue.
The court’s 5-3 ruling temporarily blocks a law that would have allowed only board-certified OB/GYNs to perform the procedure ― a move that reproductive rights advocates said would cut the state’s number of providers in half. The other two laws would make it more difficult for patients to obtain a medication abortion, using what’s known as the abortion pill, by requiring providers of the medication to have certain hospital admitting privileges and forcing patients to undergo an ultrasound before taking the pills ― a policy that would require multiple trips to clinics.
Though supporters of the laws will likely appeal Monday’s decision, reproductive rights advocates hailed the court’s decision for now.
“What a relief, to have these potentially devastating laws blocked from taking effect next week,” Tamya Cox, the co-chair of Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice, said in a statement Monday. “Pregnant people in Oklahoma, particularly Black and brown people, already need to jump through seemingly endless hoops to access health care. These restrictions would have pushed abortion out of reach entirely for many.”
Dr. Alan Braid, owner of Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic, said in another statement: “The court’s decision today comes as a huge relief.”
Many national and state-level groups representing abortion rights advocates, including the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRE), and The Advocate for Abortion Rights (State) filed the lawsuit against the government. Planned ParenthoodFederation of America.
Many of those advocacy groups have emphasized the importance of keeping abortion accessible in Oklahoma after Texas, which borders the state, enacted the country’s most restrictive abortion ban on Sept. 1. Any patients seeking abortions after about six weeks into term, which is before many women know they’re pregnant, have been forced to seek care out of state.
“New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma and Louisiana are all going to be getting swamped with Texans,” Anna Rupani, who co-directs Fund Texas Choice, which helps with abortion-related travel costs, told HuffPost when the law was enacted.
It was correct. The New York Times featured an Oklahoma abortion center earlier this month. at least two-thirdsIt is now home to more than half of the patients it has scheduled, and can’t keep up with demand.