Tags: abortion | ruling | oklahoma

Oklahoma Top Court Blocks Laws Curbing Access to Abortions

Tuesday, 04 Nov 2014 04:31 PM

Oklahoma’s Supreme Court temporarily blocked enforcement of two state laws curbing women’s access to abortions, each enacted this year by Republican Governor Mary Fallin, who is up for re-election today.

The justices in a pair of two-paragraph orders unanimously blocked one provision requiring abortion clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and another curbing the use of abortion-inducing drugs. Each measure took effect on Nov. 1. The high court today halted them pending the final outcome of constitutional challenges.

“The attorney general’s office will defend these constitutional laws from the challenge of out-of-state abortion supporters,” said Aaron Cooper, a spokesman for Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt, in an e-mailed statement. The legislature was “well within its authority” to enact the laws, he added.

Similar hospital-affiliation laws have been blocked in Wisconsin, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Those and other statutes limiting when and how abortion-inducing drugs can be used are among more than 200 measures passed by Republican- controlled legislatures since 2011 with the aim of reducing instances of early-pregnancy termination.

More state abortion limits were passed from 2011 to 2013 than in the prior decade, according to a report issued earlier this year by the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights advocacy group.

Judges’ Rulings

Roger Stuart, a state judge in Oklahoma City, declined on Oct. 29 to block the law curbing when the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol can be administered to trigger an abortion. Stuart concluded that since state law still allowed the procedure to be used, it didn’t constitute a ban.

Days earlier, another Oklahoma City judge declined to prevent the hospital-related law from taking effect. Judge Bill Graves found the doctor suing to halt the law couldn’t do so on behalf of his patients. The doctor also failed to show that even if he couldn’t get admitting privileges, his facility couldn’t make arrangements with somebody who had them, Graves said.

Opponents said both laws are unconstitutional.

“We are relieved the court has stepped in to protect women’s access to safe, legal abortion in Oklahoma,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement today. “A woman’s access to safe, legal abortion should not depend upon where she happens to live.”

Fallin led Democratic challenger Joe Dorman by 15 points in a Real Clear Politics average of nine polls since July.


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Oklahoma's Supreme Court temporarily blocked enforcement of two state laws curbing women's access to abortions, each enacted this year by Republican Governor Mary Fallin, who is up for re-election today. The justices in a pair of two-paragraph orders unanimously blocked one...
abortion, ruling, oklahoma
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2014-31-04
Tuesday, 04 Nov 2014 04:31 PM
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