OKLAHOMA CITY – The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights today filed an appeal with the Oklahoma Supreme Court, asking it to block a law that bans a second-trimester abortion procedure and a law that forces women to wait at least 72 hours after receiving state-mandated counseling before they can have an abortion.
Oklahoma has agreed not to enforce the ban until the state Supreme Court considers an emergency motion from the plaintiffs.
The law that bans the standard method of abortion after approximately 14 weeks of pregnancy had been blocked since 2015, but earlier this month, an Oklahoma state judge became the first judge in the country to uphold such a law.
The 72-hours law has been in effect since 2015.
“These two laws will devastate abortion access in Oklahoma,” said Julie Rikelman, Senior Litigation Director at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The type of ban we are challenging has never been upheld in court before because it prevents doctors from providing patients with the standard of care. Both of the laws are designed to limit abortion access for Oklahomans and are part of a national, coordinated strategy to push abortion out of reach.”
Doctors who violate either of these laws could be charged with a felony. Doctors who violate the ban could face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Similar bans have been struck down in recent years in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, and Texas. Last month, the United States Supreme Court let stand a lower court’s decision finding an identical ban in Alabama unconstitutional.
Four health centers provide abortion services in the state of Oklahoma.