A federal judge allowed three Oklahoma pro-life laws to go into effect Monday that will save unborn babies and protect mothers from abortions.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Cindy Truong refused the abortion industry’s request to temporarily block three pro-life laws that passed earlier this year, according to the Associated Press. However, Truong did agree to block two other pro-life laws that would ban most abortions in the state.
As a result of the ruling, Oklahoma will be allowed to require an abortionist to be a board-certified OB-GYN, require an ultrasound at least 72 hours before the abortion and ban dangerous abortion drugs from being sold through the mail or telemedicine.
State Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville, who sponsored four of the pro-life laws, said the purpose is to protect unborn babies and women from abortions, which are inherently unsafe, according to the report.
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“My goal has always been to save the life of the unborn child and return these decisions to the states where they rightfully belong,” Daniels said.
After the ruling, pro-abortion groups complained that the laws could have “catastrophic” effects on abortion access in Oklahoma. The Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood of Arkansas & Eastern Oklahoma, the Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic and others are suing to overturn all five pro-life laws.
The pro-abortion groups complained that the board-certified OB-GYN requirement alone could disqualify six of the 10 abortionists in the state, and they said they plan to appeal, Courthouse News reports.
Nancy Northup, CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said she was “stunned” by the ruling.
“Right now, people in Texas are traveling to Oklahoma and other neighboring states to access abortion. If these laws take effect, it will decimate access not only in Oklahoma, but in the whole region,” Northup said.
In September, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the bordering state of Texas to temporarily enforce its heartbeat law and ban most abortions. As a result, Oklahoma abortion facilities have reported an influx of women coming from Texas for abortions, according to the New York Times.
On Monday, Truong did block a similar Oklahoma law that would ban abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. She also blocked a law that classifies an abortion as “unprofessional conduct” and creates penalties for doctors who abort unborn babies, according to Courthouse News.
The courts have blocked about a dozen heartbeat laws in states across the country. The Texas law is unique because it has a private enforcement mechanism that allows private citizens to sue abortionists who violate the law.
It is clear from abortion activists’ statements that pro-life laws do save lives even when they do not directly ban abortions. Safety requirements for abortionists and informed consent laws that ensure mothers receive accurate information about their unborn babies also save lives.
Oklahoma abortionist Alan Braid, who owns Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic, basically admitted as much in response to the judge’s ruling Monday.
“Oklahoma clinics were already inundated with patients from both Texas and Oklahoma, and if these laws take effect, many Oklahoma abortion providers won’t be able to provide [abortions],” Braid 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 restrictions.”
Some states are moving in the opposite direction, expanding abortions and eliminating safety regulations that protect mothers. Some states now allow nurse practitioners and midwives to abort unborn babies, including California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Virginia and Vermont. A 2013 California study found that abortions done by non-physicians were twice as likely to have complications as those done by licensed physicians.
The Biden administration also recently stopped enforcing safety regulations on dangerous abortion drugs, meaning abortion facilities may now sell them in the mail without ever seeing the mother in person first. Oklahoma is one of several states that recently responded to this action by passing legislation to protect mothers and babies by requiring a doctor’s visit before the drugs may be prescribed.