Oklahoma’s highest court this week blocked a series of state laws restricting access to abortions.
Just weeks after a judge froze two other laws meant to protect the unborn, the state Supreme Court stepped in to prevent three other laws from going into effect.
“Irreparable harm to Oklahomans”
Two of the laws sought to restrict the use of abortion pills and another would have required abortion providers to be OB/GYN certified.
Prior to the high court’s intervention, the statutes were set to go into effect on Nov. 1. Three conservative judges on the court dissented from the majority opinion and one judge did not vote.
The Center for Reproductive Rights petitioned against the laws, insisting that they would cause “irreparable harm to Oklahomans.”
In a statement heralding the recent ruling, the abortion advocacy group declared: “All of these laws have the same goal: to make it harder to get an abortion in Oklahoma. We will continue to fight to ensure these laws are struck down for good. Politicians should not be meddling in the private health decisions of Oklahomans.”
Weeks earlier, a district judge blocked two other anti-abortion laws but left in place the three laws that were subsequently blocked by the state Supreme Court.
“Laws that reflect the values of their people”
For its part, the Susan B. Anthony List slammed the ruling, asserting that it would lead to potentially dangerous home abortions.
“This reckless ruling puts vulnerable Oklahoma women and their unborn children back at risk from dangerous abortion drugs,” the anti-abortion group argued, adding its hope that “the U.S. Supreme Court will soon recognize the right of all states to enact laws that reflect the values of their people.”
The Biden administration recently lifted existing rules requiring abortion pills to be dispensed in person, citing the ongoing pandemic as its motivation.
A separate White House challenge targeted a Texas abortion ban and the nation’s highest court is set to weigh in on that issue in the near future. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to consider a major Mississippi abortion case in December.
Although progressive critics have expressed fear that the court will effectively overturn prior precedents protecting abortion rights, conservative pundits and politicians continue to push for laws that reduce the number of abortions performed in America.