OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma judge on Friday upheld a ban on a common second-trimester abortion procedure in what abortion rights proponents decried as a “rogue” decision that will threaten the reproductive rights of women throughout the state.
Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong ruled from the bench following arguments over the ban approved by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature and signed into law in 2015. The law would prevent the use of instruments used in dilation and evacuation procedures commonly performed in the second trimester. Supporters of the ban refer to the method as “dismemberment” abortions.
“It’s essentially a back-door ban on abortion itself,” said Julie Rikelman, director of litigation for the Center for Reproductive Rights, a New York-based abortion rights group that challenged Oklahoma’s law. “What it bans is the procedure that’s the standard of care for abortion after approximately 14 weeks.”
The law would ban the procedure except when necessary to save the woman’s life or prevent a serious health risk to her.
The law had been put on hold while the legal challenge was pending. The group says similar laws have been blocked from taking effect in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky and Texas.