NRL News

Ok. Supreme Court hears challenge to law banning the dismemberment of living unborn babies

by | Oct 23, 2019

By Dave Andrusko

When last we reported on Oklahoma’s Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion, Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong had just denied a motion by the Center for Reproductive Rights for a temporary injunction that would keep the law from taking effect while the case continues. Judge Truong had upheld the law on July 12, and then denied the CRR request for a temporary injunction on September 27.

But the state agreed not to enforce the ban until the state Supreme Court considers an emergency motion from the plaintiffs, the Tulsa Women’s Clinic. Which brings us to this last week’s activity.

Last Friday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter’s office urged the Oklahoma Supreme Court to deny an emergency injunction request. In written arguments, they said the Court should allow the state “to begin treating the unborn with at least the same dignity as death row inmates and animals.”

Reporting for the Daily Oklahoman, Chris Casteel wrote

Hunter’s office argued Friday that keeping the injunction in place would infringe on “Oklahoma’s important interests in prohibiting cruel and inhumane practices, in promoting ethical behavior in the medical profession, and in advancing the cause of a humane society.

“But the harm to the State pales in comparison with that faced by the unborn. The past four years, hundreds, if not thousands, of unborn Oklahomans have been torn apart while alive because of the ongoing injunction. If this law is (again) enjoined, that tragedy will continue.”

Hunter’s office argued Friday that the law would not place a burden on the constitutional right to abortion because the method would still be available after 14 weeks as long as fetal demise, often done chemically, was performed.

AG Hunter was not exaggerating how brutal these abortions are. Here is how NRLC’s Department of State Legislation describes what happens when a live unborn child is dismembered and why such a law is essential:

Dismemberment abortion is a brutal type of abortion with the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, purposely to dismember a living unborn child and extract him or her one piece at a time from the uterus through use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, and /or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off. The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act protects unborn children from the brutality of being torn apart limb by limb by dismemberment.

On Monday, Rabia Muqaddam, an attorney with the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, said the law would place an “immediate and extremely harmful” burden on Oklahoma women if allowed to go into effect. “The harm in this case will be quite immense.”

According to Casteel, “The state Supreme Court has not announced whether it will review Truong’s ruling” and that “justices may take 10 days or more to decide whether to allow the law to go into effect.”

In 2015, the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act passed the state House of Representatives, 84-2 and the state Senate 37-4 and was signed into law by pro-life Gov. Gov. Mary Fallin.

At the time, Oklahomans For Life State Chairman Tony Lauinger commended then- Gov. Fallin “for her quick action in signing into law the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which will prohibit this barbaric inhumanity in our state.”

Categories: Judicial
Tags: Oklahoma