The Oklahoma Supreme Court delivered a setback to the pro-life cause on November 4, by temporarily blocking the state’s enforcement of a second-trimester abortion ban, Tulsa World reports.
The Oklahoma Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, signed into law in 2015, effectively prevents dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions, also known as dismemberment abortions, by making it illegal for abortionists to use forceps, scissors, clamps, or related instruments on a preborn baby with the purpose of dismembering him or her in the womb. Under the measure, women face no penalty if they undergo a D&E abortion, yet abortionists would face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Dismemberment abortions are as brutal as they sound and are described by former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino in the video below:
Abortion activists have consistently challenged the law since its passing in 2015. Most recently, Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong upheld the law in July 2019. At the time, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter praised her ruling, as reported by Tulsa World: “Dismemberment abortions are barbaric, brutal and subject unborn children to more cruelty than we allow for death row inmates. … Judge Truong is to be commended for declaring this legislation constitutional. Today is a major victory for basic human decency in Oklahoma.”
In October, the abortion activist group Center for Reproductive Rights filed an appeal with an emergency request to block the ban from taking effect. The Oklahoma Supreme Court’s November 4th order blocking the law will allow abortionists to continue the grisly procedure for the time being, pending the outcome of the Center for Reproductive Rights’ appeal.
Autumn Katz, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said that the court’s decision will allow women to continue receiving “high-quality, evidence-based abortion care.” Katz claimed that law would ascribe “criminal penalties for providing abortions consistent with the standard of care,” and that the “ban was motivated by politics, not medicine.” Abortion is not healthcare and is never medically necessary.
The violent D&E abortion procedure has been targeted by pro-life activists in several states around the country, with similar bans enacted in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, and Texas having been blocked by the courts. According to the Associated Press, based on 2018 numbers, the law would apply to approximately seven percent of the 5,000 abortions procured annually in Oklahoma.
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