The Oklahoma Supreme Court just temporarily blocked three abortion restrictions, preventing them from going into effect on November 1st while the legality of these laws are debated.
According to HuffPost, 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.
“What a relief, to have these potentially devastating laws blocked from taking effect next week. 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,” says Tamya Cox, the co-chair of Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice.
Many abortion rights advocacy groups applaud the court’s decision, and being right next to Texas, think it is a priority to keep Oklahoma abortion accessible for their residents as well as Texas residents.
Even though supporters of these three laws will most likely appeal yesterday’s court decision, it is still a victory for human rights.
“The Oklahoma Supreme Court recognized that these laws would cause irreparable harm to Oklahomans. All of these laws have the same goal: to make it harder to get an abortion in Oklahoma. We will continue to fight in court to ensure these laws are struck down for good. Politicians should not be meddling in the private health decisions of Oklahomans,” says Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights.
Earlier this month, a district court judge temporarily blocked two other new anti-abortion laws from taking effect next month, including a measure similar to a Texas abortion ban that effectively bans the procedure after about six weeks of pregnancy, reports AP.