On Friday an Oklahoma County District Judge ruled that a bill that restricted access to medication abortion was unconstitutional and cannot be enforced.
The law had been temporarily blocked since October and would have banned any off-label use of medications for abortion, including treatment of ectopic pregnancies but explicitly allow the off-label use of the same medication for other purposes.
But Judge Donald Worthington ruled that by singling out off-label use of medications for abortion services the bill’s restrictions are “so completely at odds with the standard that governs the practice of medicine that [the bill] can serve no purpose other than to prevent women from obtaining abortions and to punish ad discriminate against those women who do.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the legal challenge originally and on behalf of the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice and Nova Health Systems. Both are non-profits dedicated to providing a full range of reproductive health care services to women in the state of Oklahoma.
CRR president and CEO issued the following statement in response.
This decision adds to a growing list of state and federal courts that have reaffirmed in no uncertain terms that reproductive rights are fundamental constitutional rights that must be afforded the strongest possible legal protection.
It sends a strong message to anti-choice legislators in Oklahoma and beyond that their disingenuous tactics for restricting access to abortion and their hostility toward women’s fundamental rights will not stand. The court has made it clear this law was never about protecting women. It was about banning safe and effective methods of terminating a pregnancy, and making it impossible for women to exercise the full range of their constitutionally protected rights.
The ruling is a definitive win for women in the state and reinforces the truth that singling out abortion services for restriction is simply the right’s way of letting women know conservatives don’t believe in bodily autonomy for women.
Photo from eMagineArt.com via flickr.