Oklahoma judge upholds law banning common abortion procedure

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – An Oklahoma judge has upheld a ban on a common second-trimester abortion procedure in what abortion rights proponents decried as a “rogue” decision that will threaten the reproductive rights of women across the state.

Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong ruled from the bench Friday following arguments over the ban approved by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature in 2015.

The bill would prevent the use of instruments used in certain dilation and evacuation procedures commonly performed in the second trimester.

The law had stayed while it was being challenged by the Center for Reproductive Rights, an abortion-rights group.

The group says similar laws have been blocked from taking effect in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, and Texas.

Oklahoma’s Republican Attorney General Mike Hunter praised the ruling.

A spokeswoman for the group says they plan to appeal.

“Women deserve access to the safest and most medically recommended method for 2nd-trimester abortion. The dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure has been found to be the safest for abortion in the second trimester. Additionally, it is an internationally recognized technique. We should trust physicians to use their best medical judgment to provide care for their patients. This law is a blatant attempt to criminalize doctors for providing the best medical care to their patients and to make it more difficult for people in Oklahoma to access second-trimester abortion services. Oklahoma families need access to abortion services in order to lead healthy and productive lives,” Julie Burkhart, founder and CEO of Trust Women, said in a statement.

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