On Monday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court voted to temporarily block three laws that placed restrictions on abortion. The laws were set to take effect Nov. 1.
The Court voted 5-3 to grant a temporary injunction on the laws, two of which placed restrictions on abortion-inducing drugs and one law that would have required abortion doctors to be board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology. The three judges who dissented were all appointed by Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who is staunchly pro-life. One judge present did not vote.
According to a report by Fox News, about half of all abortion providers in Oklahoma would be forced to cease providing abortions if doctors were required to be board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. Additionally, Oklahoma abortion providers claim they’ve seen a surge in women crossing state lines seeking abortion after Texas enacted S.B. 8, which prohibits abortions after fetal heartbeat detection.
As I covered this month, Oklahoma has become a lesser-known battleground for abortion laws. Currently, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is scheduled to hear oral arguments for two cases surrounding Texas’ “heartbeat” abortion law, S.B. 8, on Nov. 1 and hear oral arguments for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Dec. 1.
Dobbs, which began in 2018, surrounds the constitutionality of a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi. Texas’ S.B. 8 was upheld by SCOTUS after abortion advocacy groups submitted an emergency request asking the Court to block it. President Biden then positioned the Department of Justice (DOJ) to sue Texas over the law. Last week, as Rebecca reported, SCOTUS agreed to hear arguments over the law, but did not block its enforcement.