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Oklahoma County judge refuses to temporarily halt two abortion laws

Natalie Mai

Natalie Mai

An Oklahoma County District Court judge on Friday refused to temporarily halt state laws that say only physicians can perform abortions in Oklahoma, and they can't do so using telemedicine.

Judge Natalie Mai quashed two motions for temporary injunction challenging longstanding Oklahoma laws.

Oklahoma City's Trust Women clinic, which was represented in court by attorneys for the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, is challenging a 1978 state law that allows only physicians to perform abortions in Oklahoma. They also are challenging a 2012 law that requires abortions be performed in person, as opposed to through telemedicine, which typically involves a live video chat.

Specifically, the clinic wants to allow registered nurse practitioners to be able to perform medication-assisted abortions, in which the patient is given a series of two pills. The clinic, which has to fly in out-of-state doctors to perform abortions, also wants doctors to be able to use telemedicine to see patients for medication abortions.

Attorneys from the attorney general's office defended the laws Friday.

The legal challenges will move forward, but Mai said she wants them to be litigated "fairly quickly."

Carmen Forman

Carmen Forman covers the state Capitol and governor's office for The Oklahoman. A Norman native and graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she previously covered state politics in Virginia and Arizona before returning to Oklahoma. Read more ›

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