Oklahoma Supreme Court Upholds State Abortion-Ban, but Allows One Exception

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

A massive victory was handed to pro-life advocates and babies in the womb alike as Oklahoma’s Supreme Court upheld the state’s abortion ban in the face of activist lawsuits.


According to LifeNews.com, the Oklahoma Supreme Court made it clear that there is no right to abortion, thus the abortion ban instituted by Oklahoma will stand. However, the state does make exceptions for medically necessary abortions where the mother’s life is in danger.

The clarification was made of the law so there is no confusion:

However, in its opinion, the court wrote “We hold that the Oklahoma Constitution creates an inherent right of a pregnant woman to terminate a pregnancy when necessary to preserve her life.”

§63-1-731.4 of the Oklahoma state statutes says, “a person shall not purposely perform or attempt to perform an abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency.”

The statute defines medical emergency as “a condition which cannot be remedied by delivery of the child in which an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness or physical injury including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.”


The ruling from the court was made in a 5-4 decision, in which it stated that a “medically necessary abortion” is one in which performing it will save the life of the pregnant woman, however, the woman will not have to wait until the moment her life is in imminent danger:

“‘The language, ‘except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency’ is much different from ‘preserve her life’ found in § 861. It restricts the performance of an abortion to only a pregnant woman who is ‘in a medical emergency’ which includes that her life ‘is endangered.’ We read this section of law to require a woman to be in actual and present danger in order for her to obtain a medically necessary abortion. We know of no other law that requires one to wait until there is an actual medical emergency in order to receive treatment when the harmful condition is known or probable to occur in the future.”

This should immediately squash any talk that the state will not allow abortions, even when the woman is in danger without one. The pro-abortion crowd often attempts to use this talking point as a way to frighten people, especially women, into resisting pro-life legislation and/or politicians.


According to Reuters, Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson is glad medically necessary abortions are allowed but calls Oklahoma’s abortion ban “unconscionable.”

“While we are relieved Oklahomans facing life-threatening situations have a right to care, the decision to maintain the state’s pre-Roe ban is unconscionable,” said Johnson.

Despite the stipulation, the abortion ban signed last April by Governor Kevin Stitt is upheld, making abortion in Oklahoma only something that happens when it saves the life of the pregnant woman, and not an elective procedure terminating innocent life merely for the convenience of the woman.


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