Oklahoma’s abortion restrictions kicked back to the Supreme Court


Pro-life supporters stand outside the Supreme Court on Oct. 7. (Evan Vucci/AP)

The future of Oklahoma’s abortion restrictions is in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court now.

After a long battle over the 2011 law limiting how medication can be used to induce abortions, the state’s attorney general asked the U.S. Supreme Court in March to get involved. But before it would make a decision on whether to take up the case, the Court had some questions for its Oklahoma counterpart. That’s where things stood until Tuesday.

In a new filing, Oklahoma’s Supreme Court answered those questions, reaffirming its belief that the 2011 law violates both the state and federal constitutions. That filing comes just one day after Texas’s restrictive abortion ban was also ruled unconstitutional.

The law expanded limits surrounding abortion-inducing drugs, restricting doctors to prescribe them only according to the limited uses approved by the Federal Drug Administration. But a district court last year ruled that the law was “so completely at odds with the standard that governs the practice of medicine” that it was effectively an abortion ban. The Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld that ruling later that year and again in today’s filing.

Now, the question is whether the U.S. Supreme Court will review the case or let it stand.

Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post's state and local policy blog.

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