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Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules Petition Outlawing Abortion Unconstitutional

Oklahoma Supreme Court chambers
Jacob McCleland
/
KGOU

The Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday a citizen-led effort to outlaw abortion in the state is unconstitutional.

In the ruling, the state’s high court cited the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld the constitutional right to an abortion.

“This Court is duty bound by the United States and the Oklahoma Constitutions to “follow the mandate of the United States Supreme Court on matters of federal constitutional law,” the ruling states. “The proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution is facially unconstitutional pursuant to Casey. The mandate of Casey remains binding on this court until and unless the United States Supreme Court holds to the contrary.

Noble resident Thomas Hunter filed Initiative Petition 406 in January. His goal was to make abortion illegal, and establish laws that make anyone who performs an abortion guilty of homicide.

The petition would’ve prohibited contraception that causes the death of a fetus, but not the type that prevents fertilization.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma filed a challenge to Initiative Petition 406 last month.

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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