shutterstock_121866532It seems that the battle between pro-choice and pro-life rages on despite the four decades the issue had to be resolved after the ruling in Roe v. Wade which established the constitutional right of women to privacy that limits how far the government can interfere in personal life decisions, which includes the right to abort. In Oklahoma, the right to abort is being effectively hamstrung in terms of legal and assisted abortion as two new laws (similar to laws in 8 other states) would effectively close down two of the three abortion clinics in the state.

The first law is SB 1848, or the Oklahoma Protection of Human Life Act of 2014, which requires that an abortion physician or clinic to have admitting privileges in a hospital in the vicinity. The second law is HB 2684, or Oklahoma Medication Abortion Ban, which restricts the use of abortifacient drugs i.e. mifepristone-misoprostol, by requiring physician administration and supervision, and none at all after the 49th day of pregnancy. Both laws go into effect on November 2014.

Pro-choice advocates condemn these new restrictions as a thinly-veiled attempt to shut down abortion clinics and to prevent women from getting a legal abortion. They say that such restrictions on legal abortion will only induce those who want one to do it illegally, which can seriously endanger their health.

The largest abortion provider in the state, Dr. Larry Burns, has sued the state to block the implementation of SB 1848, claiming that the law is unconstitutional. An earlier lawsuit was filed two days prior by the Reproductive Services, another abortion provider, to challenge HB 2684. Similar laws had already been ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court, and the plaintiffs expect that the same fate will befall these two pieces of legislation.