By Dave Andrusko
In a terse two page decision, the Oklahoma Supreme Court granted a request from abortion providers for a temporary injunction that keeps three pro-life laws on hold.
The effect of the 5-3 decision is to block HB 1904, Senate Bill 778, and Senate Bill 779 from taking effect while the legal challenge from the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Decherd LLP and Blake Patton on behalf of Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice, Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, and Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma proceeds.
On October 4, District Judge Cindy Truong refused to block enforcement of House Bill 1904, a law that requires abortionists to be board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. “This court … believes that irreparable harm would occur if we don’t put this requirement into effect,” Judge Truong said from the bench.
Judge Truong also upheld Senate Bill 778 and Senate Bill 779. SB 778 and SB 779 will codify in Oklahoma law safety regulations that had previously been, but are no longer, required by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The bills will implement a wide range of regulations, restrictions, and requirements that will provide essential protections, oversight, and safeguards involving chemical abortions. Oklahoma is the first state to provide such comprehensive oversight of this dangerous abortion method.
All three laws were scheduled to go into effect on November 1.
According to Barbara Hoberock, the state had maintained
Physicians certified in OBGYN perform most of the abortions in the United States and in Oklahoma, according to the state’s brief. …
“Nothing in the law, after all, bars Plaintiffs — which includes the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood — from hiring as many OBGYNs as they want,” according to the state.
Plaintiffs have claimed that the two bills dealing with medication abortions violate the requirement that bills contain one subject.
“As a legal matter, the claim that SB 778 and SB 779 are single subject violates is dubious; as a factual matter, it is implausible,” according to the state.
Plaintiffs have not shown that the provisions in the two bills are unrelated, the state’s brief said.