A new lawsuit filed by Tulsa reproductive services clinic challenges the ban on second-trimester abortion procedure by the Oklahoma government. The clinic is the only licensed abortion facility that provides second-trimester abortion procedures in Oklahoma.
The Republican-controlled Oklahoma legislature has banned the abortion during the second-trimester of pregnancy and has increased the waiting time of women seeking an abortion. These two laws will come into effect on Nov 1, 2015.
"Women who reside throughout the state of Oklahoma, as well as women from Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas travel to Reproductive Services to access reproductive health care. On average, the clinic provides between 150 and 200 abortions each month," according to the lawsuit.
The Center for Reproductive Rights says the ban could force some women to incur additional costs or lose access to the abortion service. The principal author of the legislation,Rep. Pam Peterson, R-Tulsa, described the second-trimester abortion procedure as "cruel and inhumane" and believes the measure is important "to protect life."
"I think it's very important not to destroy the life of an unborn child," said Pam Peterson.
"The second measure would triple the state's mandatory waiting period from 24 to 72 hours for women seeking an abortion after a doctor gives her details about the procedure, such as the age of the fetus, the risks involved, and that ultrasound and heart monitoring are available. Four other states impose a similar 72-hour waiting period," stated the lawsuit.
These acts, when viewed against the backdrop of Oklahoma's comprehensive statutory scheme regulating and restricting access to abortion, serve no purpose other than to block access to abortion and jeopardize women's health and well-being," the lawsuit alleges.
Since 2008, the Oklahoma Legislature has enacted 19 separate bills addressing abortion, several of which have been blocked, the lawsuit states. District Judge Patricia Parrish has set a hearing on Oct. 14 for a temporary injection to block the laws from going into effect.