AP NEWS

Oklahoma clinic asks high court to halt abortion law

October 22, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma abortion clinic has asked the state Supreme Court to review a judge’s decision to uphold a ban on a second-trimester abortion procedure.

The Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic requested an injunction to put the law on hold, telling the high court Monday that the law would be detrimental for women, The Oklahoman reported.

The 2015 law aims to restrict the use of instruments in dilation and evacuation abortions after 14 weeks of pregnancy, except when needed to save the woman’s life or prevent a serious risk to her health. It was put on hold while the legal challenge was pending.

Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong upheld the law in July.

Rabia Muqaddam, the attorney for the Tulsa clinic, said Truong’s decision was rogue. Muqaddam is also an attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, a New York-based abortion rights group whose challenge to the law was rebuffed this summer.

Thousands of women would be affected if the law goes into effect, Muqaddam said. She said the Tulsa clinic does not perform abortions later than 16 weeks, so most of the concern is between 14 and 16 weeks.

Oklahoma Assistant Solicitor General Zach West said the law does not leave women without options, noting that women can still get suction abortions up to 16 weeks.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has not said if it will review Truong’s ruling. Brant Elmore, a state Supreme Court referee, said justices can take 10 days or more to decide if the law will go into effect.

Numbers released by the state Department of Health show nearly 7% of the about 5,000 abortions performed in Oklahoma in 2018 were performed using this method.

The state’s Republican-controlled Legislature approved the ban, and it was signed into law by then-Gov. Mary Fallin.

___

Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com