Law Against Dismemberment Abortion Upheld by Oklahoma Judge

Liam Sigler | July 16, 2019 | 2:26pm EDT
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(Getty Images)

( -- In a victory for the pro-life movement, Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong on July 12 upheld a 2015 state law that prevents the abortion of unborn children via dismemberment, the procedure known as dilation and evacuation, or D&E.

The 2015 law, the Oklahoma Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, states, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall be unlawful for any person to purposely perform or attempt to perform a dismemberment abortion and thereby kill an unborn child unless necessary to prevent serious health risk to the unborn child's mother.”

Judge Truong’s ruled to uphold the law in a case involving the Tulsa Women’s Clinic and the Center for Reproductive Rights, which had filed a lawsuit to try to overturn the law.

(Live Action)

In a press release following the ruling, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said, “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,” he said.  “Judge Truong is to be commended for declaring this legislation constitutional. Today is a major victory for basic human decency in Oklahoma.”

Julie Rikelman, director of litigation for the Center for Reproductive Rights, denounced the ruling as “a back-door ban on abortion itself.” She admitted that the dismemberment of the child was standard for abortions in that period of pregnancy.

“What it bans is the procedure that’s the standard of care for abortion after approximately 14 weeks,” she said.

Rikelman’s organization claims that Oklahoma is the first state to uphold a ban of this nature, noting that courts in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky and Texas have struck down similar laws.

Judge Truong’s ban will not take effect until she issues a formal written opinion. The case could be appealed in the future to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

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