The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that two state laws banning abortion were too restrictive of the "inherent right of a pregnant woman to terminate a pregnancy when necessary to save her life," The Oklahoman reported.
In a 6-3 decision, the court struck down the state's total abortion ban as well as its six-week "heartbeat" ban, saying the bills were unconstitutional because they require a "medical emergency" before a doctor can perform an abortion. The court said this language conflicts with a previous ruling it issued in March.
The procedure remains illegal in most cases.
The laws struck down Wednesday included a civil-enforcement mechanism that allowed citizens to sue someone who either performed or helped someone perform an abortion.
"Despite the court's decisions today on SB 1603 and HB 4327, Oklahoma's 1910 law prohibiting abortion remains in place," Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond said in a statement. "Except for certain circumstances outlined in that statute, abortion is still unlawful in the state of Oklahoma."
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the bills in 2022.
Oklahoma's top court in March ruled that a woman has the right under the state Constitution to receive an abortion to preserve her life if her doctor determines that continuing the pregnancy would endanger it due to a condition she has or is likely to develop during the pregnancy. Previously, the right to an abortion could only take place in the case of medical emergency.
"Requiring one to wait until there is a medical emergency would further endanger the life of the pregnant woman and does not serve a compelling state interest," the ruling states.
In the 5-4 ruling, the court said the state law uses both the words "preserve" and "save" the mother's life as an exception to the abortion ban.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Solange Reyner ✉
Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.
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