South Wind Women's Center LLC, et al v. Hunter, et al


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(REVISED 4.23.2020) This lawsuit challenges two medically unnecessary anti-abortion laws in Oklahoma, both of which have been limiting access to abortion care in the state. This is the sixth lawsuit the Center for Reproductive Rights has filed against Oklahoma in five years.

The laws being challenged in this case are:

  • Telemedicine Ban: This Oklahoma law bans abortion providers from using telemedicine to provide medication abortion (abortion by pills). Medication abortion has been approved by the FDA since 2000 and is extremely safe—the serious complication rate is less than one-half of one percent, whether provided in-person or by telemedicine. Telemedicine expands access to safe and legal health care.
  • “Physician-Only Law”: This Oklahoma law bans advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) from providing abortion care, despite the fact that APRNs can provide early abortion care with the same safety and efficacy as physicians. For this reason, sixteen other states already authorize APRNs to provide early abortion care. Major medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Public Health Association and the World Health Organization have concluded that laws prohibiting APRNs from providing early abortion services are medically unfounded. 

Plaintiff(s): Trust Women Oklahoma City; Colleen McNicholas, D.O.; Bridget Van-Treese, M.S.N., APRN-CNP

Center Attorney(s): Emily Nestler, Ezra Cukor, Kirby Tyrrell

Co-Counsel/Cooperating Attorneys: Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP; Walding & Patton PLLC

Summary:  Plaintiffs filed a complaint and request for a temporary injunction to block a telemedicine ban and physician-only law already on November 8, 2019.  A hearing on the Plaintiffs' request for a TI took place February 7, 2020 and the trial court denied the Plaintiffs' motion from the bench.  The case is now in discovery.