An Oklahoma judge has temporarily blocked two new anti-abortion laws from taking effect next month, including a measure that would prevent abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.
Oklahoma City – An Oklahoma judge on Monday temporarily blocked two new anti-abortion laws from going into effect next month, including a measure similar to the Texas abortion ban that would allow the procedure to take effect after about six weeks of pregnancy. prohibits from.
District Judge Cindy Truong said she would allow three other anti-abortion laws to take effect November 1, which an abortion rights advocate said would be “catastrophic” for women’s ability to access abortion services in the state. All three of them would create new restrictions on drug-induced abortions and require all doctors performing abortions to be board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology.
“The requirement for an OB-GYN would immediately disqualify more than half of doctors performing abortions in the state,” said Rabia Muqaddam, staff attorney at the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, who challenged the five new Oklahoma laws. The day the law goes into effect, we are talking about really disastrous repercussions.”
The drug-induced abortion restrictions add up to requirements previously made by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. These include an entry privilege requirement that has been rejected by the US Supreme Court and an ultrasound requirement that is more restrictive than an ultrasound law that has already been rejected by the state Supreme Court.
Abortion clinics in Oklahoma are already being overwhelmed by patients in Texas, where the U.S. Supreme Court on September 1 allowed a law to take effect that once medical professionals detect cardiac activity in a fetus. It was made illegal to have an abortion, which is usually around. Sixth week of pregnancy.
About 11 Texas women received abortion services at the Trust Women’s Clinic in Oklahoma City in August. Rebecca Tong, co-executive director of Trust Women, said that number rose to 110 last month. A similar increase is being reported in abortion clinics in Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana and New Mexico.
State Sen. Julie Daniels, a Bartleysville Republican who sponsored four of the five anti-abortion bills challenged in Oklahoma, said the laws are designed to make abortion safer, though she acknowledged that their ultimate goal is to produce embryos. life is to be saved.
“My goal has always been to save the life of the unborn child and to return these decisions to the states where they are correct,” Daniels said.
Women are increasingly demanding out-of-state abortions as Republican legislatures and governors pass more restrictive abortion laws, especially in the South. At least 276,000 women terminated their pregnancies outside their home states between 2012 and 2017, according to a 2019 Associated Press analysis of state and federal data.
The trend appears to have accelerated over the past year. Abortion clinics in neighboring states began seeing an increase in calls from Texas after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott banned abortion in March 2020 for nearly a month under a COVID-19 executive order.
Dr. Alan Brad, owner of the Tulsa Women’s Fertility Clinic, said Monday the results of the judge’s ruling will resonate across the South.
“Oklahoma clinics were already full of patients from both Texas and Oklahoma, and if these laws take effect, many Oklahoma abortion providers would not be able to provide care,” Brad said in a statement. “Where will all these patients go? Politicians are trying to trap them, and they are succeeding. But we will not stop fighting these sanctions.”
Muqaddam said that once he and attorneys in the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office reach an agreement on a formal order for the judge to sign, the center plans to appeal the judge’s decision to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Neither the office of Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt nor the state attorney general’s office, which defended the new laws, immediately responded to messages seeking comment on the decision.