Oklahoma Supreme Court blocks 2015 abortion law

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The Oklahoma Supreme Court granted an injunction on Monday barring enforcement of a law that bans a method of abortion in the second trimester.

Six justices agreed to the injunction, while two dissented. The injunction is expected to remain in place while the court hears an appeal of the “Unborn Child Protection-from-Dismemberment-Abortion Act,” which was approved by the state Legislature in 2015.

Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong in July upheld the law. The Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to review Truong’s decision.

The state law, which has never gone into effect because of the court challenges, bans dilation and evacuation abortions after 14 weeks. Doctors could face criminal charges under the law.

In defending the law, the state of Oklahoma contends that women in the second trimester of pregnancy could find an alternative. The Tulsa clinic argues the law places an undue burden on women seeking an abortion and that state and federal courts have struck down similar laws in other states.

There is no timetable for a state Supreme Court decision in the case.

The two newest justices, Richard Darby and M. John Kane IV, would not have granted the injunction. Darby was named to the court by former Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin. Kane, who joined the court in September, was the first justice named by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Stitt vowed during his campaign to appoint Supreme Court justices who oppose abortion. He was assured during the selection process by anti-abortion activists that Kane opposed abortion.

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