The Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocked three pro-life state laws Monday that would protect mothers and unborn babies from dangerous abortion practices.
KOCO News 5 reports the justices ruled 5-3 in favor of temporarily blocking the laws, which were slated to go into effect Nov. 1.
One law, which Gov. Kevin Stitt signed earlier this year, requires abortionists to be board-certified OB-GYNs. The two others establish new safety measures for abortion drugs, including requirements that they be provided in-person by a doctor and that complications be reported to the state.
Susan B. Anthony List state policy director Sue Liebel slammed the ruling as “reckless” because it ignores serious risks to mothers and their unborn babies.
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“This reckless ruling puts vulnerable Oklahoma women and their unborn children back at risk from dangerous abortion drugs,” Liebel said. “Abortion advocates present the abortion pill as an easy, painless and private way to end a pregnancy – but these drugs are four times riskier than surgical abortion.”
Earlier this fall, a lower court judge refused to block the laws at the request of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups that are suing the state. However, the groups appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. They claim the laws are medically unnecessary and they unconstitutionally restrict abortion.
“All of these laws have the same goal: to make it harder to get an abortion in Oklahoma,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. “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.”
But the laws protect women by ensuring abortion facilities are following basic health and safety standards.
Earlier this year, state Sen. Jessica Garvin, R-Duncan, who sponsored one of the laws, said she wants to protect mothers as well as unborn babies. Until Roe v. Wade is overturned and states can ban abortions again, Garvin said lawmakers can at least protect women by requiring that abortions be performed by a trained medical professional.
“This can be a dangerous procedure, and should an emergency arise or the mother experience adverse effects, she’ll have a doctor specially trained to handle such situations. This will help better protect our state’s unborn and the health of their mothers,” she said.
At the time, Garvin told lawmakers that about 100,000 unborn babies have been aborted in Oklahoma since 2012, and she hopes the bill will protect unborn babies’ lives as well as mothers.
Liebel said greater protections are needed because abortion drugs can be deadly to both mother and baby.
“Women who take them can get sicker, faster, are more likely to end up in emergency rooms, and could even die,” she said. “While Washington Democrats have been pushing to permanently turn every post office and pharmacy into an abortion center, Oklahoma lawmakers stood up for women. Their pioneering state-level program requires these drugs to be dispensed in person by certified doctors only – the same requirement the FDA had until the Biden administration – and also ensures tracking of complications.”
Liebel said Oklahomans want to protect unborn babies and mothers, and state lawmakers took action to do just that, passing nine new pro-life laws this year.
“We stand with them in this fight and hope the U.S. Supreme Court will soon recognize the right of all states to enact laws that reflect the values of their people,” she said.
Pro-abortion groups and politicians are working to expand abortion drugs. Earlier this year, the Biden administration began allowing abortion businesses to sell abortion drugs through the mail without ever seeing the woman in person.
A recent national study found that complications from the abortion drugs are significantly under-reported in the U.S., but the data that is available shows that more than 20 women died from complications and more than 500 suffered life-threatening complications between September 2000 and February 2019 in the U.S.