Red State Supreme Court Keeps Block On Three State Laws Restricting Abortion

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The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled against three of the state’s pro-life laws Tuesday, arguing that they would inhibit a woman’s right under the state constitution to get an abortion to protect her health, according to court documents.

The three laws in question require doctors to be board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and requiring doctors to perform an ultrasound 72 hours before administering any drugs used to initiate an abortion, according to the Associated Press. Several pro-abortion groups including Planned Parenthood (PP) and the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) sued the state, arguing the laws were unconstitutional and the state Supreme Court agreed to place a temporary halt while the lawsuit runs its course, according to the ruling. (RELATED: ‘We Were Made For A Moment Such As This’: After Setbacks, Here’s How The Pro-Life Movement Plans To Get Back On Track)

“Currently, we granted a temporary injunction to prevent enforcement of the Acts pending appeal,” the justices wrote. “Maintaining the status quo would further the public interest of protecting a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy to preserve her life. The trial court denied the appellants’ requested temporary injunction during the pendency of the action on the merits. We hold this was against the clear weight of the evidence.”

Medical instruments are prepped prior to a surgical abortion at Trust Women clinic in Oklahoma City, U.S., December 6, 2021.Medical instruments are prepped prior to a surgical abortion at Trust Women clinic in Oklahoma City, U.S., December 6, 2021. (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

Four justices dissented from the majority opinion with one, Justice J. Kuehn, writing that he could not find the right to an abortion in the state’s constitution as the majority opinion suggested.

“I dissented to that opinion and I continue to disagree with it; I cannot find language in the Oklahoma Constitution which supports such a right, and I believe the creation of any right to abortion should be done by the people of Oklahoma, through initiative petition or their elected representatives,” Kuehn wrote.

Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a law in April 2022 that completely prohibits abortions in the state with limited exceptions for protecting the life of the mother. A spokesperson for Attorney General Gerund Drummond told the AP that they are reviewing the state Supreme Court’s decision but noted that it does not impact Oklahoma’s ban on abortion.

Rabia Muqaddam, senior staff attorney at CRR, said in a prepared statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation that they were “grateful” for the court’s decision.

“We are grateful that the Oklahoma Supreme Court recognized how these laws are medically baseless and threaten grave harm while ensuring that they remain blocked as this case proceeds,” Muqaddam said. “This is welcome news, but the devastating reality is that Oklahomans still do not have access to the abortion care they need.”

Drummond’s office did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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