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Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks three new anti-abortion laws

Oklahoma Supreme Court
The courtroom of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Oklahoma lawmakers created several new abortion restrictions this year, which were to take effect on Nov. 1.

But the Oklahoma Supreme Court hit the pause button on Monday, in a 5-3 ruling. Reproductive rights activists and providers sued to challenge the bills. The court is blocking the policies until it determines whether they’re legal.

One bill would bar all doctors without obstetrics and gynecology specialties from performing abortions. The lawsuit states that would disqualify half of the state’s providers.

The other two bills — Senate Bills 778 and 779 — would require new pre-procedure appointments, such as additional ultrasounds.

Earlier this month, a district court judge temporarily blocked two other new anti-abortion laws from taking effect next month. Those laws would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected and would deem performing abortions as "unprofessional conduct" by doctors.

Abortion providers across the state have reported surges in demand, after similar measures took effect in Texas in September.

Catherine Sweeney reports for StateImpact Oklahoma, focusing on health.
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