Thursday, April 23, 2015

Oklahoma Criminalizes Procedure for Second-Trimester Abortions and Miscarriage Management

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed a bill into law this week that criminalizes a medical procedure used during second-trimester abortions and for miscarriage management.

The laws ban the dilation and evacuation (D and E) procedure, which is commonly used in second trimester abortion care. The procedure is a method of abortion during which a physician will dilate a woman’s cervix and remove the fetus using forceps, clamps, or other instruments. During the procedure, the fetus is usually removed in parts. Prior to 14 weeks’ gestation, abortions are usually performed using suction aspiration, but after 14 weeks the D and E procedure must be used, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

This is yet another stitch in the rich tapestry of Oklahoma politicians undermining medical judgment. In the last several years, Oklahoma politicians have given protection to doctors that lie to pregnantpatients to prevent them from seeking abortions, required counseling withnon-medically accurate language for women seeking abortions, and restricted minor’saccess to contraception.

Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma cares. No matter what. So we will be here to help you find the resources you need if Oklahoma’s dangerous and deeply biased abortion laws affect you. It is very unfortunate, however, that this law will threaten the health of women seeking second-trimester abortions, as well as women suffering miscarriages.

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