Advocates Say Law Undermines Women’s Health and Rights
(PRESS RELEASE) The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a legal challenge late yesterday against a new Oklahoma law that severely and arbitrarily restricts the use of medications that induce first-trimester abortion. According to the lawsuit, filed on behalf of the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice and healthcare provider Reproductive Services, the law not only jeopardizes women’s health, but also undermines their ability to exercise the full range of their well-established constitutionally protected reproductive rights.
“It’s the government’s job to ensure access to the best medical care available, not to deny it,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “This law prevents doctors from using their best medical judgment and mountains of scientific evidence—ultimately, depriving women of the full range of scientifically proven treatments available. It’s a clear attack on women’s health and basic rights.”
Advocates for the Center argue that the law bars doctors from using guidelines widely researched and recognized by medical experts, including the World Health Organization and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as the safest, most effective, and inexpensive for providing medications to terminate a pregnancy. By prohibiting regimens that are supported by scientific evidence, the suit argues, the law singles out women seeking abortion and their doctors for arbitrary restrictions that jeopardize their health.
The lawsuit asserts that, among other things, the law violates women’s rights to equal protection of the laws, privacy, and bodily integrity.
The challenge was filed in the District Court of Oklahoma County on behalf of the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that reproductive healthcare is available to all women in the state, and Nova Health Systems d/b/a Reproductive Services, a non-profit reproductive health care facility located in Tulsa.