The Center for Reproductive Rights has filed an appeal to block the dismemberment abortion ban in Oklahoma, even though a judge just upheld the law in July. The law, which passed in 2015, bans dilation and evacuation, or D&E, abortions. The law also requires women receive counseling and wait 72 hours before going through with the procedure.
While the waiting period went into effect in 2015, the dismemberment ban has been on hold as the lawsuit makes its way through the courts. And the Center for Reproductive Rights claims that the law creates an undue burden on women. “These two laws will devastate abortion access in Oklahoma,” Julie Rikelman, Senior Litigation Director at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. “The type of ban we are challenging has never been upheld in court before because it prevents doctors from providing patients with the standard of care. Both of the laws are designed to limit abortion access for Oklahomans and are part of a national, coordinated strategy to push abortion out of reach.”
When the law was upheld in July, it was a huge win, one praised by Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter. “Dismemberment abortions are barbaric, brutal and subject unborn children to more cruelty that we allow for death row inmates,” he said, according to Tulsa World. “It is unconscionable to think that we would allow this practice to continue. Judge Truong is to be commended for declaring this legislation constitutional. Today is a major victory for basic human decency in Oklahoma.”
D&E abortions are the most common second trimester abortion procedure, and it’s extraordinarily violent. In it, a preborn child is ripped apart limb from limb, when they are able to feel pain.
Women face no penalty under the Oklahoma law if they undergo a D&E abortion. Abortionists, however, can face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
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