In what the Center for Reproductive Rights calls an “unprecedented ruling recognizing bodily integrity and reproductive choice as fundamental rights under the Oklahoma state constitution,” an Oklahoma state judge has found that a law restricting medical care for women seeking an abortion is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced.
The ruling, issued Friday by Oklahoma County District Judge Donald Worthington, pertains to access to medication abortion, a method of early abortion that has been proven safe and effective in both clinical trials and through widespread experience in Europe and the United States. More than 1.4 million women in the U.S. have undergone early termination of pregnancy using medication abortion since mifepristone was approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration in 2000
Despite safety data, a law passed by the overwhelmingly anti-choice Oklahoma legislature in early 2011 arbitrarily restricted access to medication abortion.
Judge Worthington ruled that the bill’s restrictions on medication abortion are unconstitutional because they 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 and discriminate against those women who do.”
[NB: more people than just cis women are affected by anti-choice laws and limiting access to abortion care.]