Oklahoma State Court Blocks One Anti-Abortion Measure, Allows Another
A state court blocked an Oklahoma measure yesterday that would have banned the most commonly used method of second trimester abortion. Judge Patricia Parrish allowed, however, a measure that will triple the state's mandatory waiting period from 24 hours to 72 for all women seeking abortion services beginning in November.
Judge Parrish issued a temporary injunction for HB 1721, which would have banned the dilation and evacuation abortion procedure, a safe and common method of second trimester abortion. The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit earlier this month to challenge the law, resulting in Judge Parrish's ruling yesterday.
Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, applauded the court's decision to block the law that would ban this safe and common method of abortion, however she also criticized the court's decision to allow the dramatic tripling of Oklahoma's mandatory waiting period.
"Today's ruling falls short of recognizing women as capable decision-makers who do not need to be told to go home and wait at least three days before they can get the care they need. Oklahoma women already face incredible obstacles when they need to legally and safely end a pregnancy and this law only makes matters worse," Northup said.
In August, anti-abortion lawmakers in Oklahoma attempted to pass a bill banning medication abortion past 7 weeks, requiring patients to undergo an unnecessary surgical procedure rather than using medications alone. Judge Parrish also was the one to issue a ruling in this case, and found that the restrictions clearly violated the state constitution.
Media Resources: Center for Reproductive Rights 10/14/15; Feminist Newswire 8/11/15; RH Reality Check 8/10/15;