Major Change Made Over Abortion Laws

Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash

( – On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court was divided in the decision to overturn a portion of the State’s near-total abortion ban by ruling that women whose pregnancy risks their health would be allowed to seek an abortion.

The court ruled in a narrow win that women have the right under the state Constitution to seek an abortion if their doctor determines that their pregnancy could endanger their lives because of an existing condition or one that they develop during pregnancy. Abortions were previously only allowed in cases of medical emergencies.

According to the ruling, waiting until there is an actual medical emergency in these cases could mean that the life of the pregnant woman could be further endangered, which “does not serve a compelling state interest.”

In the 5-4 ruling, the court noted that the state law contains both the words “preserve” and “save” when it comes to abortion exceptions. As the ruling notes, it is not required for the physician to know with “absolute certainty” that the life of the mother “could be endangered,” and “mere possibility or speculation” is not enough to determine that an abortion is needed.

The court on this occasion declined to rule in which other cases abortion is a right granted by the Constitution. The ruling given was in the lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood, Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic, and others challenging state laws that had been passed following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

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