Major Pro-Life Victory: Judge Upholds Ban on Abortion Procedure in Oklahoma
You know it’s a good day for the pro-life movement when pro-abortion forces call a court ruling “rogue.”
That word is being applied to Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong’s decision to uphold an Oklahoma law banning dilation and evacuation abortions for women in the second trimester of pregnancy, according to CBS News.
Julie Rikelman, litigation director at the Center for Reproductive Rights — the pro-abortion group that challenged the 2015 state law — said that the procedure was the “standard of care” for abortions at that stage of pregnancy.
Rikelman also told The Associated Press that the law and the ruling was a “back-door ban on abortion itself.”
Right. This is false and Rikelman almost certainly knows it; most abortions are performed during the first trimester and don’t require the dilation and evacuation technique, which involves dilating the cervix before the fetus is pulled out in a procedure that involves forceps and scraping the walls of the uterus.
A study from 2007 — from a pro-abortion source, mind you — found that only 11 percent of abortions happened after the first trimester. During the first trimester, less-invasive procedures can be used.
Whether or not the law stays in place will be interesting to see. Similar laws have been struck down in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky and Texas.
As for right now, the Center for Reproductive Rights has already appealed the law to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
“We’re trying to evaluate all of the next steps we can take to keep the law (from taking effect),” Rikelman said.
Other pro-abortion groups were similarly apopletic about a single court decision that didn’t affirm the ability of any person to get an abortion at any time during their pregnancy:
BREAKING: A rogue district judge in Oklahoma has abandoned precedent and upheld the state’s ban on a safe and standard abortion procedure. The harm of this decision cannot be overstated. https://t.co/ffZE562dr0
— NARAL (@NARAL) July 12, 2019
The question, of course, is whether or not this violates the Supreme Court’s “undue burden” standard established in Planned Parenthood v. Casey back in 1992. That ruling essentially established that because women apparently have a right to an abortion under the 14th Amendment, any undue burden placed upon those rights by the states is fundamentally unconstitutional.
Leaving aside how the original decision, which uses Roe v. Wade as a bedrock (and therefore, I would assert, has a fundamental misunderstanding about what the 14th Amendment entails), I fail to see how there’s an undue burden posed by restricting a second-trimester abortion when the vast majority of abortions are done during the first trimester.
Even if you believe that women have a constitutional right to abortion — something I personally find specious at best — there’s nothing that says the courts necessarily need to protect the rights of women who wait until a more invasive procedure is needed.
The fact that similar laws have been struck down in other states isn’t proof that the bans are unconstitutional, it’s proof that our court system is profoundly broken when it comes to determining exactly what constitutional rights are.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter got it right: “Dismemberment abortions are barbaric, brutal and subject unborn children to more cruelty than we allow for death row inmates.”
“It is unconscionable to think that we would allow this practice to continue. Judge Truong is to be commended for declaring this legislation constitutional,” Hunter said in a statement. “Today is a major victory for basic human decency in Oklahoma.”
What’s ironic is that Julie Burkhart — the CEO at Trust Women, a network of clinics that operates one of three abortion centers in Oklahoma — said that it was “absolutely the most common” type of abortion for women in the second trimester because of its safety and efficiency.
“This ruling substantially interferes with our doctors’ relationship with their patients and allowing our physicians to determine what’s the best, safest form of treatment,” Burkhart said.
“It’s so frustrating to have that decision making power taken away from these physicians who have gone through medical school and become highly trained in their fields.”
The abortionists may be trained in their fields and think that it’s “the best, safest form of treatment.” That treatment results in death 100 percent of the time — the death of unborn human life. That’s what makes laws like this so important, and so important to defend.
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