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Thursday, July 11, 2024

US court in Oklahoma strikes down two laws restricting abortion | World News


The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that two state laws banning abortion are unconstitutional, but the procedure remains illegal in nearly all circumstances in the state, except in life-threatening situations.

The court’s decision was welcomed by doctors, who said there was uncertainty about the state’s abortion laws. (Associated Press)

exist 6-3 ruling, The high court said the two prohibitions are unconstitutional because they require a “medical emergency” before a doctor can perform an abortion.The court stated that this language previous rulings it issued In March of this year, it was determined that the Oklahoma Constitution provides “the inherent right of a pregnant woman to terminate her pregnancy when necessary to preserve her life.”

The court’s decision was welcomed by doctors who said uncertainty about the state’s abortion laws often forced them to wait for women who faced serious medical complications and the inability to conceive to wait until their condition worsened before they could have an abortion.

“In our practice, we’ve had situations where we just have to tell the woman that we usually offer (pregnancy) termination to protect her health…’We have to get you home and monitor your condition, if you start showing signs of infection or worsening blood pressure and come back, we have the ability to legally treat you,” said Dana Stone, an ob-gyn in Oklahoma City. “Otherwise, under these laws, we risk 10 years in prison, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and the loss of our medical license.”

While a court ruled in March that the requirement to wait until an active medical emergency occurs violates the state constitution, uncertainty remains as both laws remain in effect.

“By their decision today, the court is ensuring that the March decision will be fully implemented,” said Rabia Muqaddam, senior attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York, which has challenged the law on behalf of Tulsa abortion providers. “Hopefully patients will get The necessary medical care they need without having to wait until they are dying.”

Since the Supreme Court of the United States dobbs ruling last year Overturned Roe v. Wade and abortion rights nationwide, imposed stricter abortion restrictions in most Republican-controlled states, and imposed abortion protections in most Democratic-controlled states.

Laws repealed Wednesday in Oklahoma all include civil enforcement mechanisms, first Enacted in Texas In 2021, citizens can sue people who perform or help perform abortions.

“Despite today’s court rulings on SB 1503 and HB 4327, Oklahoma’s 1910 law banning abortion remains in effect,” Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond said in a statement. “Abortion remains illegal in the state of Oklahoma, except in certain circumstances covered by the statute.”

Oklahoma state 1910 law Makes it a felony for anyone to perform an abortion or assist a woman to have one, punishable by up to five years in prison, unless it is “necessary to protect her life.”

The court’s decision was condemned by Republican leaders and Gov. Kevin Stitt, who have campaigned for years to severely limit abortion access in Oklahoma.

“Once again, this Court has become overly involved in the nation’s democratic process and intervened to undo legislation enacted by the will of the people,” Stitt said in a statement. “I agree with Justice (Dustin) Rowe’s dissent, ‘The matter The issues raised in are political issues that are better addressed by the people through our democratic process.”


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