OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Abortion providers and advocates in Oklahoma filed a lawsuit Friday with the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The suit challenged two total abortion bans with criminal penalties for providers.
The lawsuit focused on Senate Bill 612, which goes into effect in August. It will make performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.
With Oklahoma being a trigger law state, abortion was banned across the state with only a few exceptions when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week. The decision gave each state control back of abortion laws.
Emily Wales is the CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
“There is a great deal of confusion right now about everything from contraception to ectopic pregnancy to abortion,” said Wales. “It is really critical that the Supreme Court weigh in and, we hope, take very public action to ensure that patients can receive care back again in Oklahoma.”
The second part of the lawsuit challenged a pre-Roe ban on abortion from 1910. That law went back into effect across the state once Attorney General John O’Connor certified last week’s Supreme Court decision.
“What we’re asking the court to do is clarify not only what’s in effect now, but also addressing some of those prior bans to tell us exactly what the state of the law is and also to identify this right in the state’s constitution to care,” said Wales.
KFOR asked longtime Flash Point Republican contributor and former Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb to explain the chances that the state’s highest court would reverse course.
“I would think the likelihood of the Oklahoma Supreme Court overturning the laws of Oklahoma, I think would be very remote,” he said.
J. Blake Patton is one of the attorney’s who filed the lawsuit. KFOR spoke with him Friday and he told us he expected to hear back on the filling next week. He also expected the proceedings to be resolved through briefings.