Oklahoma’s Supreme Court temporarily blocked enforcement of two state laws curbing women’s access to abortion, each enacted this year by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, who was up for re-election Tuesday.

In a pair of two-paragraph orders the justices Tuesday unanimously blocked one provision requiring abortion clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and another curbing the use of abortion-inducing drugs.

Each measure was scheduled to take effect on Nov. 1. The high court blocked them pending the final outcome of constitutional challenges.

Similar hospital affiliation laws have been blocked in Wisconsin, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. A U.S. judge in Montgomery, Alabama, in August ruled that state’s local hospital law is unconstitutional.

Those laws and others limiting when and how abortion-inducing drugs can be used are among the more than 200 measures passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures since 2011 with the aim of reducing instances of early pregnancy-termination.

More state abortion limits were passed from 2011 to 2013 than in the prior decade, according to a report issued earlier this year by the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights advocacy group.


State court Judge Roger Stuart in Oklahoma City on Oct. 29 declined to block the law curbing when the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol can be administered to trigger an abortion. Stuart concluded that since state law still allowed the procedure to be used, it did not constitute a ban.

Days earlier, another Oklahoma City judge declined to prevent the hospital-related law from taking effect. Judge Bill Graves found the doctor suing to stop enforcement of the law couldn’t do so on behalf of his patients and hadn’t shown that even if he couldn’t get the required admitting privileges, his facility couldn’t make arrangements with somebody who had them.

Opponents of the measure said both laws were unconstitutional.

“We are relieved the court has stepped in to protect women’s access to safe, legal abortion in Oklahoma,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement Tuesday.

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