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abortion

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt prepares to greet Gov. Mary Fallin at the 2013 State of the State address at the state capitol.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

While Oklahoma's Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, is fighting in court to defend two anti-abortion bills passed by the Legislature last year, state lawmakers have introduced several new abortion bills for the 2015 session.

Among those filed this year are measures to prohibit certain late-term abortions, require doctors to inform pregnant women about the fetal heartbeat, and require women to have certain information provided to them at least three days before an abortion. A related bill would make it a felony to perform research using stem cells.

Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Supreme Court put two laws on hold Tuesday that place restrictions on abortions in the state.

One law requires abortion providers have a physician with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital present when the procedure is performed, and would’ve forced the doctor who performs nearly half of the state’s abortions to shut down his practice.

Attorneys for a Norman abortion provider say he'll have to close his practice next week unless the Oklahoma Supreme Court blocks a law that takes effect Saturday. The new law requires abortion providers to have a physician with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital present when abortions are performed.

Attorneys for the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights told a Supreme Court referee Friday that Dr. Larry Burns has sought admitting privileges at several hospitals but has been denied. Burns performs 44 percent of all abortions in the state.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has been asked to prevent a new law that restricts the use of certain abortion-inducing drugs from taking effect.

The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights filed an emergency motion late Wednesday to block the law from taking effect as scheduled on Saturday. The group filed the motion after an Oklahoma County district judge rejected its request to prevent the law from taking effect. The state's highest court did not immediately schedule a hearing on the request.

Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves
Oklahoma County

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the last year that Bill Graves served in the Legislature. He served from 1989 to 2004.

The judge who ruled against a Norman doctor challenging a state law restricting abortions authored more than a dozen pieces of anti-abortion legislation when he was a state representative, legislative records show.

In 2001, when he was a Republican state legislator in northwest Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves wrote that abortion caused more carnage than Nazi Germany.

Last week, Graves ruled against a challenge to a new state law that required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Norman physician Dr. Larry Burns filed the lawsuit. Burns said the law, set to go into effect on Nov. 1, would force him to shut down his practice. Burns said he applied for admitting privileges at more than a dozen hospitals but was refused.

Graves ruled against Burns, saying Burns didn't file his request for admitting privileges on a timely basis.

Tom Hart / Flickr.com

A judge has ruled that Oklahoma can require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital under a law that takes effect Nov. 1.

Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves ruled Friday against a legal challenge on behalf of a Norman clinic that performs nearly half of the abortions in the state.

Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

An Oklahoma County judge plans to let a new law take effect next month to restrict the use of certain abortion-inducing drugs, but is temporarily suspending any portion that subjects abortion providers to legal liability.

District Judge Robert Stuart issued his ruling Wednesday following a hearing on the law that was passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature earlier this year and takes effect Nov. 1.

Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

An Oklahoma doctor is going to court in an attempt to block a new state law that would require abortion clinics to have a physician with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital present when an abortion is performed.

The hearing is scheduled Friday in Oklahoma County District Court in the lawsuit filed earlier this month by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Dr. Larry Burns of Norman, who the abortion rights group says is one of three abortion providers in Oklahomaand performs nearly half the state's abortions.

Avinash Bhat / Flickr.com

An Oklahoma doctor is suing in hopes of blocking a new law that imposes stricter regulations on abortion providers.

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the lawsuit Thursday on behalf of Dr. Larry Burns, who the center says performs nearly half the state's abortions.

The lawsuit aims to block a law that would require clinics to have a physician with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital present when an abortion is performed. It would take effect Nov. 1.

A similar law is being challenged in Texas.

Dr. Willie Parker is one of two doctors who performs abortions at the only women’s health clinic in Mississippi where abortions are performed.

Parker is a devout Christian who feels he is doing the right thing to help women in need. He’s the subject of a profile in Esquire magazine called “The Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker.”

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland says two of Oklahoma's three abortion providers could be shut down under a bill signed into law last week by Gov. Mary Fallin. The measure takes effect November 1.

The new law requires clinics to have a physician with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital present when an abortion if performed.  Planned parenthood says Reproduction Services in Tulsa is the only abortion provider in the state that meets the requirement.

Planned Parenthood staff attorney Tamya Cox tells the Tulsa World that abortion providers in Oklahoma City and Norman don't currently have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles, as required under the new law.

  A bill that would impose strict new state regulations on abortion providers in Oklahoma is heading to the governor's desk.

In the waning minutes of the legislative session Friday, the House gave final approval to a bill that requires the Oklahoma Board of Health to establish standards regarding equipment and supplies that might be needed in a medical emergency. Abortion clinics would also be required to have a physician with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital present when an abortion is performed.

Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin has signed an anti-abortion measure that requires caregivers to notify women that perinatal hospice services are available as an alternative to abortion.

The bill was among two dozen measures Fallin signed into law on Monday. Other measures targeted the state's income tax, food stamp fraud, mental health courts and competitive bidding, among other things.

Serge Melki / Flickr.com

A bill that would restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs in Oklahoma has easily passed the state Senate.

The Senate voted 37-5 Tuesday for the bill that was written in direct response to a state Supreme Court decision that tossed a similar measure approved by the Legislature in 2011.

The bill would prohibit off-label uses of certain abortion-inducing drugs by requiring doctors to administer the drugs only in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocol.

Cory Doctorow / Flickr.com

A bill to further restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs in Oklahoma has easily cleared a Republican-controlled Senate committee.

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services voted 5-1 Monday for the bill, which was written in direct response to a recent state Supreme Court decision.

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