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Politics and Government

Lawsuit Filed Challenges Oklahoma Abortion Restrictions

Abortion-rights supporters (foreground) try to disrupt an anti-abortion march to the Texas Capitol during a Texas Rally for Life on Jan. 24 in Austin, Texas.
Abortion-rights supporters (foreground) try to disrupt an anti-abortion march to the Texas Capitol during a Texas Rally for Life on Jan. 24 in Austin, Texas.

Oklahoma abortion providers and reproductive rights advocates have filed a lawsuit challenging laws set to go into effect on November 1 that restrict abortion access.

Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice and Planned Parenthood of Arkansas & Eastern Oklahoma are two of five plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit against Oklahoma officials, which was filed Thursday in Oklahoma County District Court.

The suit challenges 5 bills passed by this year’s state legislature which, among other restrictions, would prevent pregnant people from getting an abortion if what the legislature calls a “fetal heartbeat” is detected.

Rabia Muqaddam, staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, says the bills are unconstitutional and would drastically restrict access to care.

"Then there's a law that arbitrarily disqualifies highly trained abortion providers, many of the abortion providers in Oklahoma from continuing to offer care because they're not board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. Many of the physicians who provide abortion in Oklahoma happened to be board-certified family medicine physicians."

"And then there are two bills that restrict access to medication abortion, or abortion by pills, which is extraordinarily safe. The bills clearly have nothing to do with the safety or health of women or patients," said Muqaddam. 

The Oklahoma lawsuit comes after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block a similar Texas law from taking effect on Wednesday.

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