On Thursday Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced, rather gloatingly, that he had won a court challenge of a 2014 ruling striking Senate Bill 1848. The law restricts abortion providers in the state by requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Such privileges are near impossible to get in Oklahoma and many other states.
With the 2014 decision, the physician providing nearly half of all abortions in the state was able to reopen and continue offering safe and legal abortion services while the litigation continued, according to a report by the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice. Now that clinic and other abortion providers in the state may close or reduce services, unless an emergency stay can be granted, because Mr. Pruitt’s victory dance may be short lived.
On March 2, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear a Texas case, Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which addresses these kinds of restrictions that are designed to put abortion providers out of business rather than protect the “health and safety of women,” a claim that is pure spin. Legal abortion is a very safe – and constitutional – procedure, safer in fact than childbirth. The ruling on that case will likely come in June.
Upon the news, The Center for Reproductive Rights rushed out a release to say they will immediately appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.