NATIONAL NEWS

Oklahoma high court strikes down 2 abortion bans; procedure remains illegal in most cases

May 31, 2023, 9:00 AM | Updated: 10:02 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that two state laws banning abortion are unconstitutional, but the procedure remains illegal in the state in most cases.

In a 6-3 ruling, the high court said the two bans are unconstitutional because they require a “medical emergency” before a doctor can perform an abortion. The court said this language conflicts with a previous ruling it issued in March. That ruling found the Oklahoma Constitution provides an “inherent right of a pregnant woman to terminate a pregnancy when necessary to preserve her life.”

The laws struck down Wednesday both included a civil-enforcement mechanism that allowed citizens to sue someone who either performed or helped someone perform an abortion.

“Despite the court’s decisions today on SB 1603 and HB 4327, Oklahoma’s 1910 law prohibiting abortion remains in place,” Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond said in a statement. “Except for certain circumstances outlined in that statute, abortion is still unlawful in the state of Oklahoma.”

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