Oklahoma court allows abortion to save mother’s life
“Asking someone to wait until there is a medical emergency would further endanger the life of the pregnant woman and does not serve a compelling state interest,” the ruling states.
In the 5-4 ruling, the court said state law uses both the words “preserve” and “save” the mother’s life as an exception to the abortion ban.
“The language ‘except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency’ is very different from ‘preserving her life,'” according to the ruling.
“Absolute certainty” by the physician that the mother’s life could be endangered “is not required, however, mere possibility or speculation is insufficient” to determine that an abortion is necessary to preserve life of the woman, according to the decision.
The court, however, declined to rule on whether the state Constitution grants the right to abortion for other reasons.
The court ruled in the lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood, Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic and others challenging state laws passed after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade who legalized abortion.
“People’s lives have been put at risk by Oklahoma’s cruel abortion bans, and now doctors will be able to help pregnant women whose lives they believe are in danger,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO. from the leadership of the Center for Reproductive Rights, in a statement. decision.
“We are disappointed that the Court declined to decide whether the state Constitution also protects the right to abortion outside of these circumstances,” Northrup said.
“This decision excludes too many Oklahomans. Oklahomans shouldn’t have to cross state lines just to get to an abortion clinic, and it’s heartbreaking that many can’t do that,” said Dr. Alan Braid, an abortion provider. and plaintiff in the case, said in a statement. .
Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Great Plains, called the decision a small step towards restoring abortion rights.
“The Oklahoma Supreme Court recognized a fundamental truth: Patients must be allowed access to intensive care to save their lives,” she said. “But the right recognized today is so limited that most people who need an abortion will not be able to access it.”