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Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules State Must Allow Abortions to ‘Preserve’ a Mother’s Life

Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules State Must Allow Abortions to ‘Preserve’ a Mother’s Life

But the court upheld the ban on elective abortions.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court clarified a part of the state’s abortion ban that allowed the procedure in medical emergencies.

But the court upheld the ban on elective abortions.

The court ruled that the Oklahoma Constitution gives a woman a right to an abortion “to preserve her life if her doctor determines that continuing the pregnancy would endanger it due to a condition she has or is likely to develop during the pregnancy.”

The new laws only allowed abortions in a medical emergency. The court said the wording was vague:

“Requiring one to wait until there is a medical emergency would further endanger the life of the pregnant woman and does not serve a compelling state interest,” the ruling states.

In the 5-4 ruling, the court said the state law uses both the words “preserve” and “save” the mother’s life as an exception to the abortion ban.

“The language ‘except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency’ is much different from ‘preserve her life,’” according to the ruling.

“Absolute certainty,” by the physician that the mother’s life could be endangered, “is not required, however, mere possibility or speculation is insufficient” to determine that an abortion is needed to preserve the woman’s life, according to the ruling.

I’m guessing they used that as a way to allow non-emergency abortions to “preserve” the mother’s life.

Gov. Kevin Stitt signed these three bills into law after SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade:

Senate Bill 612 banned most abortions in Oklahoma and only made exceptions to save the mother. The bill also banned abortions at conception.

Senate Bill 1503 prohibits abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, once cardiac activity can be detected in an embryo. It also allows private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion for up to $10,000.

House Bill 4327 bans abortions from the moment of conception and allows anyone to sue the person who aids or abets a woman seeking an abortion at any point in a pregnancy. The bill could be Oklahoma’s strictest abortion ban.


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Does “preserve” = “convenience”?

    fscarn in reply to alaskabob. | March 22, 2023 at 11:16 am

    Now you know the leftists’ answer to that one.

    Milhouse in reply to alaskabob. | March 22, 2023 at 11:55 am

    No, it clearly does not. It means exactly what it sounds like: that if the abortion is not performed the mother might very well die. The only question before the court was whether they must wait for an emergency to develop before acting, or they may act in good time to prevent the inevitable emergency from occurring. It seems to me that the court’s decision is clearly correct. If it is predictable that the emergency will eventually occur, then it should be considered to already be occurring, and it’s clearly medically preferable to act earlier rather than later. It’s also clearly more ethical, if one must kill the baby in any event, to do so at an earlier stage of its development than to wait until a later stage.

      It is legitimate to wonder how a Progressive could turn the language, as they have done several times before. But the one law seems designed to prevent that as much as possible.

      randian in reply to Milhouse. | March 22, 2023 at 12:14 pm

      It clearly does, you can be certain that such court-created exceptions will be used for exactly that, using ill-defined “risks” to justify it. That is the point of the court ruling like this, to effectively render any restriction a nullity.

      ” The only question before the court was whether they must wait for an emergency to develop before acting, or they may act in good time to prevent the inevitable emergency from occurring.”

      That was not the only question before the Court.

      The petitioners claimed that the laws banning abortion were contrary to Oklahoma Constitution. The Court was asked to resolve the discrepancy between the Dobbs decision and the Oklahoma Constitution.

      The group was asking the Supreme Court to invalidate all laws concerning abortion that were passed – not just one issue or question as you claim.

      Here’s the unpublished decision where the myriad of issues are discussed:

      KEYoder in reply to Milhouse. | March 22, 2023 at 3:18 pm

      I upvoted you, because in theory I agree with you. In practice, however, I fear that “inevitable emergencies” will be assumed though they very well may never happen. A lady in my church with an auto-immune disease called scleroderma (which among other things causes skin to become inelastic) became unexpectedly pregnant–with twins! I expect a good argument for an inevitable emergency could have been made. She was informed that the pregnancy could very well kill her and the babies, but chose to go ahead with the pregnancy. Pregnancy and delivery (c-section) were virtually trouble-free. I credit fervent prayer and the hand of God. A non-believer who thinks there was no supernatural intervention SHOULD BE even more inclined to take a hands-off, wait-and-see approach in such a situation, but I’m worried that some doctors will be only too eager to look for opportunities to say “inevitable” and abort the baby.

      In any case, laws like these will eliminate the vast majority of abortions, and for that I am truly grateful.

      Anacleto Mitraglia in reply to Milhouse. | March 23, 2023 at 8:22 am

      Actually, almost all conditions that threaten the life of of the mother (e.g. eclampsy, DIC, bad presentation, mother foetus disproportion) occur in the last stages of a pregnancy, when the baby is already viable, and a ceasarean section would be a better option. Removing an ectopic pregnancy in earlier stages is technically not even an abortion.

Dolce Far Niente | March 22, 2023 at 11:13 am

Outside of ectopic pregnancies, there are mighty few medical instances in which the mother’s life is actually endangered, but it does occur and the choice is not that the mother is more valuable and the child disposable, but that if both mother and child cannot survive, then the life of the mother is preserved, since the child is doomed in any case if the mother dies.

But it is NEVER necessary or licit to simply and deliberately kill the unborn; Rather, ethical doctors make the determination that the unborn must be delivered, even if the chances of survival are nil

The unborn is a human being with the innate dignity and rights endowed by the Creator, not medical waste and not an extension or possession of the mother

    An ectopic pregnancy is not actually a pregnancy. It cannot actually produce an offspring.

    There are enough risks to the mother’s life in non-ectopic pregnancies that there are treatments for the mother designed not to get her to her delivery date but to get her as far along as they can, while getting the (often desperately wanted) baby ready for premature delivery (mostly, iirc, encouraging the lungs to develop early.)

    Cases which don’t allow a Caesarean are rarer, but if blood pressure threatens Mom’s life at eighteen weeks, the baby isn’t going to survive NICU. If they can nurse it to 22 weeks while encouraging lung growth, maybe? Certainly they can hope the conception date is off and the baby is small and it’s actually 23 or even 24 weeks going into NICU.

    The real problem is simply that there are doctors who will lie about the state of the pregnancy and the risks to the woman to allow an abortion.

    Other issues that are not rare are preexisting maternal pulmonary hypertension (frequently fatal because of the dramatic shifts in blood flow during pregnancy), endometrial cancer and other aggressive malignancies, life-threatening autoimmune conditions (which can also abate during pregnancy, so clinical judgment is required), and severe maternal mental illness. As you say, attempting to carry these through even to viability will frequently result in the death of both mother and child. As to whether the approach to terminating these pregnancies involves the death of the child before they are removed from the uterus, it becomes a distinction without a difference as long as the intent is to save the life of the mother,

    Where it gets much uglier is where you find (or manufacture) a less risky situation: does every mother with a lupus diagnosis automatically find a right to an abortion? Every mother with any clinical mental illness? Every mother with any cancer diagnosis? Legislatures and courts will have to continue to refine these questions, because the answers aren’t simple.

    One thing where you and I are on completely common ground is that deliberately killing the child as an act in itself is never necessary. Particularly after viability, there are literally no cases where delivering the child is faster or safer if you kill them first, so the goal from 20 weeks or so on ought, in my opinion anyway, to be to deliver and resuscitate the child and give them the best chance possible. They may live or die as God chooses, but killing them first is evil.

    mid term preeclampsia.

    Generally late term, but can happen mid term. Can be deadly.

It’s a simple matter to go out of state in any case, emergency or not.

TN passed law with very narrow exceptions to the same effect.

I had a friend who had a case in which the fetus was diagnosed with (forget the condition) and would not survive a year outside of the womb. and it would be a bad year at that- for everyone involved.

This friend was as pro-life as you can be w/out being militant. She opted to terminate. Her husband’s aunt was a nun and was counseling them on this journey. This is a woman who had seen friends have abortions back in high school and had seen it scar them emotionally. This is a friend who attends church weekly and was raised as pro life as you can be.

“Convenience” is a word we use casually, but has big implications.

To us – we think of it as too lazy too stupid to use birth control. The truth is a lot more nuanced than that. So as much as I’m against the murder the left if advocating for, I don’t have a hard heart for the 40 year old with aging eggs that has been handed test results that would crush any person. You aren’t on that journey.

    GWB in reply to Andy. | March 22, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    Actually, I have been on that journey.
    We supported a friend in a similar circumstance. We convinced her to have the child – and it was born (as they so very often are) perfectly healthy.
    A friend at church just had her first baby, and was told early on it would be disabled. They chose to have that baby because they love life. We formed a meal calendar for them while the baby was in NICU and continue to support them.
    We have several children in our church who require care for special needs. We love them all and celebrate the women who birthed them.

    You’re right, it’s not all welfare queens and sluts. But the other women have also been lied to, and we need to address that lie, again and again. “Convenience” is a word we use casually, but it’s also the word that really breaks through the ones who aren’t hard-hearted.

The Pro-Abortion ‘Life Of The Mother’ Argument Is A False Flag Operation

Women face many possible illnesses during pregnancy, including premature rupture of membranes, severely high blood pressure, diabetes, hemorrhaging, cancers, and heart disease. As an obstetrician-gynecologist who used to provide abortions early in my training, I know that intentional feticide is never necessary even in the worst-case scenarios.

The medical goal should be to care for both patients and to get them both as far along in the pregnancy as possible as long as the mom and baby are doing well.

‘Precious Feet’: Doctor’s Iconic Photo of a 10-Week-Old ‘Fetus’ Proves Aborted Babies Are Not Clumps of Cells

The pitter-patter of little feet. That said, six weeks to baby meets granny in legal state.

    n.n in reply to n.n. | March 22, 2023 at 1:22 pm

    Fetus is a technical term of art, a vehicle for social distancing, and an empathetic, sympathetic indemnity.

Russ from Winterset | March 22, 2023 at 3:18 pm

I seem to recall during one of the prior campaigns to overturn/minimize Roe (possibly back in the 90s), that some abortion providers were willing to stretch “threat to the life of the mother” well past the breaking point. If a pregnant woman tells her doctor “if you don’t perform this abortion, I will kill myself”, how much weight do you give that threat?

As the saying goes “if your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. When the doctor is willing or even eager to abort, even statements like “I am worried about my ability to care for a baby” could be construed as a threat to the mother’s life.

There needs to be a “carve out” where a serious threat to the mother justifies sacrificing the baby, but if you think that the pro-abortion bloc won’t push the envelope, you should take a good look at Canada’s euthanasia program. Slippery slopes aren’t just rhetorical concepts if you look at history.

    I think you are confusing “threat to the mother’s life“, with “threat to her health“. The “threat to her health” exemption was definitely being stretched beyond all recognition, which is why it has to be plugged.

    Threats to her life are harder to manipulate. There has to be a serious reason to believe that the alternative to abortion will be the mother’s actual literal death. And yes, in my opinion that should include suicide; if the doctor sincerely believes that not aborting will have that result.

      Russ from Winterset in reply to Milhouse. | March 22, 2023 at 7:32 pm

      I agree, but the problem is that the “alleged” threat of suicide is going to get the same in-depth investigationl that progressives think happens at red-state gun show purchases.

      Enforcing consequences when threats of suicide are made is damn near impossible (as it should be), so every scared pregnant kid will be told “just tell them you will kill yourself if they won’t snuff the baby.”. Pro-abortion ghouls already consider the procedure to be a sacrament of their religion, so why wouldn’t they encourage the women to exaggerate? And any doctor who already performs abortions would be driven from the medical profession as a heretic if they question the claim.

I predict there’ll be a 40,000% increase in the number of abortions found necessary to “preserve” the life of the mother.

It’ll be like when marijuana was only legal if you had a medical need for it, and suddenly there was this massive increase in glaucoma cases. All of which were miraculously cured the day weed became legal.