Oklahoma US District Judge Charles Goodwin has just blocked a state executive order that limits abortion access during the coronavirus pandemic. Judge Goodwin believes that Oklahoma’s ban would cause “irreparable harm” to individuals unable to receive abortion care.
In response to Oklahoma’s state executive order, Goodwin also remarked, “that while the current public health emergency allows the State of Oklahoma to impose some of the cited measures delaying abortion procedures, it has acted in an ‘unreasonable,’ ‘arbitrary,’ and ‘oppressive’ way – and imposed an ‘undue burden’ on abortion access – in imposing requirements that effectively deny a right of access to abortion.”
In addition to Oklahoma’s order, several other states have deemed elective abortion procedures as non-essential medical procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak in order to conserve medical space and supplies. However, CNN Political Reporter Caroline Kelly notes that “abortion rights supporters have disparaged the move as politically motivated.”
While the ruling does come offer up some sense of relief for patients seeking abortion care, Alexis McGill, acting president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, said that, “they should have never had to wait for a judge to rule before accessing the time-sensitive care they needed,” and accused Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt of “wasting valuable time and resources using the COVID-19 pandemic to score political points.”
Sources: The Hill 4/6/20 ; CNN 4/6/20