Oklahoma Supreme Court (copy)

The Oklahoma Supreme Court is pictured in this file photo. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World file

OKLAHOMA CITY — A lawsuit was filed Friday in Oklahoma County District Court challenging two more legislative restrictions on abortion.

The Center for Reproductive Rights sued on behalf of South Wind Women’s Center, an Oklahoma City abortion provider, and two health care professionals.

The suit challenges a 2012 state ban on the use of telemedicine in providing a medication-induced abortion.

The law requires physicians to be physically present when the medications are provided to the patient, according to the suit.

The suit alleges that it is an unconstitutional special law because it singles out one form of health care, one class of doctors and one class of patients and treats them differently from others. The suit alleges that no medical reason justifies it.

The suit says it treats physicians who provide medication abortion differently from other doctors in the state who may provide healthcare by means of telemedicine.

“If we get these senseless laws off the books, we can expand abortion access in Oklahoma, which has very few abortion providers,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “As clinics shutter across the country, telemedicine is a crucial way to keep services available.”

The lawsuit is also challenging a physician-only rule that bars other qualified medical professionals from providing abortions.

The suit says the law is unconstitutional because it bars advanced practice registered nurses from performing abortions.

The law is an undue burden for women seeking to access care and also is an unconstitutional special law, the suit says.

The lawsuit is the sixth the center has filed against the state in just over five years.

“Once we receive a copy of the lawsuit, we will review it and respond accordingly,” said Alex Gerszewski, a spokesman for Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter.


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Barbara Hoberock

405-528-2465

barbara.hoberock

@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @bhoberock

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