On Wednesday, District Court Judge Daniel Owens ruled to temporarily block a new abortion law in Oklahoma that seeks to restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs by doctors. The bill, which was passed earlier this year by Oklahoma’s Republican-controlled legislature and later signed by Governor Mary Fallin (R), requires doctors to follow the strict guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent off-label use of abortion-inducing drugs. The bill would also require that doctors examine their patients, document previous health conditions, and schedule follow up appointments.
The plaintiffs in the case, the Center for Reproductive Rights in conjunction with Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, filed a lawsuit to prevent the bill from going into effect on November 1, arguing that the bill would undermine the doctor-to-patient relationship and prevent doctors from using their best judgment on the individual circumstances of each patient. Michelle Movahed, an attorney for the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, expressed her satisfaction with the ruling saying that, “We’re thrilled that women in Oklahoma will continue to be able to access medical care that accounts for scientific evidence, sound medical judgment and advancements in medicine.”
According to the Associated Press, Oklahoma also passed a law last year that would require women seeking abortions to first have an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus. The Center for Reproductive Rights is also challenging that law, which has been temporarily suspended while the case is ongoing.
Associated Press 10/19/11, The Oklahoman 10/6/11