Oklahoma judge blocks law limiting access to birth control pill
OKLAHOMA CITY — A law set to hit the books in Oklahoma this Thursday is blocked by a local judge. House Bill 2226 would have required women under 17 to have a prescription to obtain the “morning after” birth control pill.
Until recently, the federal government limited access to the morning after pill. Only after the FDA relaxed the need for teens to have a prescription did state lawmakers step in and pass the controversial bill.
The judge’s ruling means the Plan B pill can now be sold off the shelf until a lawsuit against the bill is decided.
“Blocking this law helps keep Oklahoma girls safe from unintended pregnancies,” said Martha Skeeters with the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice.
“I think it’s important, as women, we control our reproductive rights,” said mother Heather Hall.
“The ruling is a victory,” said state senator Constance Johnson, (D) Oklahoma City.
Strangely, Johnson voted for the bill on the senate floor, but says the language limiting the Plan B Bill had been tacked onto a different issue at the 11th hour, potentially making the bill unconstitutional.
“It defies logic the state courts think it’s ok to limit access to spray paint and markers but medication should be accessible to minors,” said state senator AJ Griffin, (R) Guthrie.
Griffin says the bill she authored would not have denied access to Plan B pills, but simply required teens to consult a doctor to get a prescription.
“This medication would still be available to those teens, it would simply have to have the assistance of medical professionals,” said Griffin.
“If we’re concerned about abortions, why are we limiting access to contraceptives? It doesn’t add up,” said Johnson.
Griffin says if the bill is struck down permanently by the courts, she will reintroduce it in the next legislative session.
A spokesperson with the state attorney general’s office called the ruling a disappointment.