(Reuters) – Oklahoma’s Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a law aimed at limiting the use of abortion drugs, overturning a lower court ruling that the measure was unconstitutional because it did not apply to people other medications.
Tuesday’s ruling said the measure did not violate state constitutional provisions aimed at maintaining uniformity of laws across the state, but also said it could jeopardize public health.
“We must also recognize that, based on the states’ own evidence, more restrictions on abortions result in higher complication rates and decreased safety for women,” the court wrote.
The law requires drugs, including one known by the brand name Mifeprex, to be administered according to US Food and Drug Administration protocols which critics say are outdated and pose dangers to women.
Republican leaders in the state who backed the law said the restrictions protected women. Opponents have said the FDA-recommended doses increase women’s risk of harmful side effects because they are much larger than necessary.
“The off-label use of abortion-inducing drugs has had catastrophic consequences for women across the country, and I appreciate the efforts of the Oklahoma Legislature to protect the health and safety of women from Oklahoma to the detriment of the interests of the abortion industry,” Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said. noted.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Reproductive Services, a nonprofit health care provider with a center in Tulsa, and the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, said the law prohibited off-label use of unconstitutionally and purposely abortion-inducing drugs, which limited non-surgical abortion options in the state.
When the FDA approved Mifeprex in 2000, it implemented a regimen that included relatively high doses and three doctor visits, according to an article by the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights but whose research is used by both sides of the debate. .
Soon after, groups such as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America published medical standards for Mifeprex based on studies from the World Health Organization and other developed countries showing that lower doses and less visits to the doctor were necessary. By 2001, about 83% of US providers were no longer using the FDA-approved diet, Guttmacher said.
Ohio, Texas and North Dakota have similar laws restricting abortion-inducing drugs, according to the institute.
Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and David Gregorio