Appeal Filed in Oklahoma to Block Laws That Would 'Decimate Abortion Access'

Reproductive rights advocates are asking in an appeal that the Oklahoma Supreme Court block three anti-abortion laws that would "decimate abortion access" in the state, the Associated Press reported.

The three laws would place new restrictions on medication-induced abortions and mandate that any doctor who performs the procedure must be a certified OB-GYN.

Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong temporarily blocked two of five Oklahoma laws aimed at restricting abortion access, including one similar to the new Texas law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, the AP said. Truong said that she'd allow the other three to go into effect on November 1 unless a legal challenge is successful.

The appeal filing decried the limitations placed on medication-induced abortion, which it said "is preferred by many and medically safer for some." It also warned that the laws could severely limit abortion access if allowed to take effect.

"Oklahomans will face tremendous delays and costs in accessing abortion, and many will be entirely prevented from obtaining care in the state," the filing said. "The State's intent is clear—to limit and prohibit abortion access in any conceivable way."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Oklahoma County Judge Cindy Truong
Reproductive rights supporters have filed an appeal asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to put three anti-abortion laws on hold. Oklahoma County Judge Cindy Truong, seen above in court on Oct. 22, 2013, said she would allow the laws to take effect November 1, pending the outcome of a legal challenge. Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo

A spokesperson for the state attorney general's office, which has defended the new laws, did not immediately return phone calls for comment on Thursday.

A spokesperson for Republican Governor Kevin Stitt, who signed the legislation, also did not reply immediately to a phone call for comment.

The requirement that doctors be certified as an OB-GYN will drastically reduce access "by arbitrarily prohibiting highly trained, board certified family medicine doctors from providing abortions," the suit says.

The plaintiffs are asking that the Oklahoma Supreme Court fast-track the appeal.

The medication-induced abortion restrictions include requirements previously struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. These include an admitting privileges requirement that has been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court and an ultrasound requirement that is more restrictive than an ultrasound law the state Supreme Court already struck down.

Abortion clinics in Oklahoma already are being overwhelmed by patients from Texas, where the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a law to take effect on September 1 that made it illegal to perform abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, which is usually around the sixth week of pregnancy.

Abortion Rights Demonstration
Protesters organized by NYC for Abortion Rights pose for a photo as they demonstrate outside Saint Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, New York, on October 9. Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images