Judge Lets Oklahoma|Ban Abortion Drugs

OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) – An Oklahoma judge Wednesday refused to block the state’s new law banning the use of abortion-inducing drugs.
     Oklahoma County Judge Roger H. Stuart denied a motion for temporary injunction shortly after a hearing on the request by the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice and Tulsa Nova Health Services.
     The groups sued the state on Sept. 30, claiming House Bill 2684 unconstitutionally denied women rights to due process and equal protection.
     Signed into law in April, HB 2684 bans off-label use of FDA-approved abortion drugs and requires that a physician provide surgical care and access to medical facilities to prescribe such drugs.
     The law takes effect Nov. 1.
     But Judge Stuart temporarily suspended portions of the law that subject abortion providers to legal liability.
     The plaintiffs claimed the law places “burdensome and arbitrary” restrictions on medical care for abortions.
     “If the act is allowed to take effect, some women will be prevented altogether from terminating an early pregnancy by using medication alone, and others will be deprived of the safest and most effective methods of doing so,” the 5-page motion states.
     “Defendants would suffer no harm if a temporary injunction were granted. To the contrary, enjoining the act would preserve the status quo, allowing women who seek pregnancy termination to continue to access medical care using treatment protocols that have been recognized as safe and effective by leading medical organizations.”
     It was the second time Nova Health sued the state over abortion restrictions.
     In March 2012, an Oklahoma County Court ruled in its favor against a law that required women seeking abortions to view ultrasound images of the fetus. The Oklahoma Supreme Court affirmed the ruling in December 2012, deeming the law unconstitutional .
     The state supreme court also rejected ballot measures for that year’s November election that would have asked Oklahoma voters to grant human embryos “personhood” rights.
     The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union then filed a protest with the court , seeking to stop the gathering of signatures for the ballot measure.

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