The Oklahoma Supreme Court Wednesday struck down two abortion bans as unconstitutional, but abortion remains illegal in the state.
The court struck down HB 4327, which blocks doctors from performing abortions at any point during pregnancy unless to save a woman’s life, and SB 1503, also known as the Oklahoma Heartbeat Act, which prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. Both bills subject physicians to civil liability for performing abortions.
In its decision, the court referenced a prior ruling in which it found an “inherent right of a pregnant woman to terminate a pregnancy when necessary to preserve her life.” Because both statutes require a “medical emergency” for a physician to legally perform an abortion, the court found them unconstitutional.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt condemned the court’s decision:
I again wholeheartedly disagree with the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s use of activism to create a right to an abortion in Oklahoma. This court has once more over-involved itself in the state’s democratic process, and has interceded to undo legislation created by the will of the people.
Despite the court’s ruling, Attorney General Gentner Drummond stated that abortions remain illegal in the state under a 1910 law. Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat said, “The court’s ruling today has little to no impact regarding abortion in Oklahoma.”