OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A divided Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a portion of the state’s near-total ban on abortion, ruling women have a right to abortion when pregnancy risks their health, not just in a medical emergency.
The court ruled that a woman has the right under the state Constitution to receive 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. Previously, the right to an abortion could only take place in the case of medical emergency.
The court, however, declined to rule on whether the state Constitution grants the right to an abortion for other reasons.
The court voted 5-4 on the ruling in the lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood and others challenging the state laws passed after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
“People’s lives have been endangered by Oklahoma’s cruel abortion bans, and now doctors will be able to help pregnant people whose lives they believe are at risk,” Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement after the ruling. “We are disappointed that the Court declined to rule whether the state Constitution also protects the right to abortion outside of these circumstances.”