Oklahoma County Judge Blocks New Abortion Law From Taking Effect


Wednesday, October 23rd 2019, 7:14 pm
By: Storme Jones


An Oklahoma County district judge has halted implementation of a law requiring doctors to tell medical abortion patients the procedure may be able to be reversed halfway through the process. 

The Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic said forcing doctors to make such statements going against medical norms violates their constitutional rights to free speech.

“You don’t check your First Amendment rights at the door simply because you are a physician or a physician that provides abortion,” Center for Reproductive Rights attorney Gail Deady said.

Plaintiffs in the case said the science isn’t in on procedures to reverse medical abortions.

The state argued before the judge, fetuses can be saved an average of 48 percent of the time after the first of two pills is taken, if additional medical steps are taken. 

Judge Don Andrews asked if any of those reversal procedures have been approved by the government. The state’s attorney said the FDA has not approved the treatment.

Still, the bill’s author, Mark Lepak, (R ) Claremore, said women should know there is a chance the fetus could make it.

“The first pill is intended to cut off the nutrients to the fetus, and then some period of time later, you take the second pill and there’s this gap here where for a period of time, the woman may or may not have successfully destroyed the fetus,” Lepak said.

The law passed on party lines requires doctors tell patients, "It may be possible to reverse the intended effects of a medication abortion...  if the woman changes her mind."

“Physicians should not be forced to speak a government mandated message, providing misleading information to their patients,” Deady said.

“Presenting the information doesn’t prevent the doctor from saying what he thinks about it,” Lepak said. “He can still say, ‘look, I don’t recommend this. I don’t believe this is true.’ He can say whatever he wants.”

However, the law does make not telling a patient a felony. The doctor could face a $10,000 fine.

A judge in North Dakota put a pause on a similar state law last month.

The temporary injunction will stay in place until the case is decided.

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