[JURIST] An Oklahoma District Court judge on Wednesday said that he will allow a law that bans abortion-inducing drugs to take effect as planned on November 1. The lawsuit was filed [JURIST report] by the Reproductive Services in Tulsa and the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice [advocacy websites] earlier this month, claiming that Oklahoma House Bill 2684 [text] will lead to increased use of surgically-induced abortions for cases where drugs can be used. Those in favor of the law said that the drugs could harm pregnant women because their use in abortion procedures have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration [official website].
Reproductive rights [JURIST backgrounder] continue to be a hot-button legal issue throughout the US, with a number of states proposing laws to limit abortions. Last month Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood filed an appeal asking the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] to reverse a July ruling [JURIST report] that a 2012 state law requiring abortion clinic doctors to obtain hospital admitting privileges is unconstitutional. Also last month the US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, Northern Division ruled [JURIST report] that Alabama’s recently enacted [JURIST op-ed] requirement [HB 57] that all doctors who provide abortions must have staff privileges to perform designated procedures at a local hospital is unconstitutional. In April West Virginia’s governor vetoed a bill [JURIST report] that would have banned abortions later than 20 weeks after conception. Also in April the Fifth Circuit upheld a Texas law similar to the one enacted in Alabama that requires physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. In March the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled [JURIST report] that the Kansas legislature can withhold federal funding for two Planned Parenthood clinics.