Supporters of reproductive rights in Oklahoma vowed to continue fighting following a judge’s recent ruling on abortion access in the state. Two laws that would restrict abortion were blocked, although several rules limiting abortion access are still set to go into effect this year.
Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong blocked a law that would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. In most pregnancies, a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks gestation.
Judge Truong also blocked a law that would consider providing an abortion as “unprofessional conduct” for health care providers. However, she did not block a ruling that abortion providers must be board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology. “This court … believes that irreparable harm would occur if we don’t put this requirement into effect,” said Judge Truong in making the ruling.
Abortion rights under attack across the nation
Meanwhile, supporters of reproductive freedom face fear as access to abortion becomes more and more limited across the country. According to Rabia Maqaddam with the Center for Reproductive Rights, “We are definitely experiencing an unprecedented attack on Roe v. Wade and Casey, and there’s no way to get around that. It’s a treacherous time to be a patient seeking abortion services. What is happening across the south, but really across the country, are these really dramatic threats.”
Texas recently passed SB8, which bans abortion after six weeks gestation, even in cases of rape or incest. The ruling has caused a flurry of activity in neighboring states, such as Oklahoma, as women scramble to find places where their reproductive rights remain intact.
Meanwhile, protests in support of reproductive rights took place all over the country last weekend, as citizens took to the streets to claim autonomy over their bodies. Connie Johnson, a Democrat running for Governor of Oklahoma, attended a protest in Oklahoma City, noting “We can change things. Oklahoma women can do this. And we have this one moment in time.”