The Oklahoma Supreme Court reverses part of the abortion law

Previously, abortion was only allowed in medical emergencies, which could endanger the life of the mother, advocates argued.

OKLAHOMA CITY — A divided Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned part of the state’s near-total abortion ban. Women have a right to an abortion when pregnancy is dangerous to their health, not just in the event of a medical emergency.

It was a narrow victory for pro-choice advocates since the US Supreme Court struck the landmark Roe v. Wade down last year. Since then, conservative states, including Oklahoma, have enforced abortion restrictions.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that under the state constitution, a woman has the right to receive an abortion to preserve her life if her doctor determines that continuing the pregnancy would put her at risk because of a condition she was having during has or is likely to develop during pregnancy. Previously, the right to an abortion could only be exercised in medical emergencies.

“Waiting until a medical emergency occurs would further endanger the life of the pregnant woman and does not serve any compelling state interest,” the verdict says.

In the 5-4 decision, the court said state law uses both the words “preserve” and “save” the life of the mother as an exception to the abortion ban.

“The language ‘other than to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency’ is very different from ‘save her life,'” the ruling said.

The doctor’s “absolute certainty” that the mother’s life could be at risk “is not required, but mere possibility or speculation is insufficient” to determine that an abortion is necessary to preserve the woman’s life, the ruling said.

However, the court declined to rule on whether the state constitution grants abortion rights on other grounds.

The court ruled in the lawsuit, filed by Planned Parenthood, the Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic and others to challenge state statutes enacted after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Roe v. Wade, who had guaranteed nationwide abortion rights for nearly half a century.

Since then, a patchwork of laws has meant that some patients have had to travel to other states to have abortions when it is illegal where they live.

“This ruling leaves too many Oklahomans out. Oklahomans should not have to travel across state lines just to reach an abortion clinic, and it is heartbreaking that many will not be able to,” said Dr. Alan Braid, an abortion provider and plaintiff in the case, in a statement.

The Oklahoma ruling is unlikely to mean abortion becomes widely available.

in one Lawsuit filed earlier this month About the Texas abortion ban, five women said they were denied abortions even when a pregnancy put their lives at risk. The lawsuit alleges the Texas law is creating confusion among doctors, who are turning away some pregnant women with health complications because they fear repercussions.

Emily Wales, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Great Plains, called the ruling a small step towards restoring abortion rights.

“The Oklahoma Supreme Court has recognized a fundamental truth: Patients must have access to critical care to save their lives,” she said. “But the right recognized today is so limited that most people who need an abortion will not have access to it.” The Oklahoma Supreme Court reverses part of the abortion law

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