Oklahoma Judge Blocks State Order Limiting Abortion During Coronavirus Outbreak


US District Justice Charles Goodwin wrote: “Although the current public health emergency allows the State of Oklahoma to impose some of the measures cited to delay abortion procedures, it has acted in a manner” unreasonable “,” arbitrary “and” oppressive “- and imposed an” undue burden “on access to abortion – by imposing requirements that effectively deny a right of access to abortion. “

Several state representatives have chosen to include elective abortions in the limitation of medical procedures during the coronavirus epidemic, stressing the need to keep personal protective equipment, while proponents of abortion rights have disparaged this decision for political reasons.

Many court battles have a potentially long future ahead of them. Federal judges in Texas, Ohio and Alabama decided last week to freeze orders from those states limiting elective abortions. While an appeals court then reversed course and temporarily authorized the Texas order to come into force, another appeals court on Monday confirmed the lower court’s decision to block the order. Ohio.

In Oklahoma, Republican Governor Kevin Stitt issued an executive order in March that he later confirmed to apply to “any type of abortion service” that is not a medical emergency or necessary to “prevent serious risk” for the health “of the woman.

In Monday’s order, Goodwin cited evidence that medical abortion, a type of abortion that usually involves taking two pills without any surgery that would have been included in the ban, “is safer and requires less interpersonal contact and PPE than surgical abortion ”.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said he was “very disappointed” with Monday’s court order, his office confirming that the state plans to appeal immediately to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for United States.

Excluding abortions from order “may encourage a flood of other judicially cited exceptions, completely undermining the state’s ability to address the worst public health crisis in Oklahoma history,” he said. he declares.

Alexis McGill Johnson, Interim President and CEO of Planned Parenthood, said that even if the decision was a relief for patients, “they should never have waited for a judge to rule before accessing the urgent care they needed “.

She accused Stitt of “wasting precious time and resources by using the COVID-19 pandemic to score political points”.

CNN contacted Stitt’s office for comments.


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