Supreme Court asks Oklahoma Court about RU-486 decision

The US Supreme Court on Thursday asked Oklahoma Supreme Court to clarify a couple of questions about an Oklahoma anti-abortion law that bans off-label use of certain abortion-inducing drugs.

In 2011, the Center for Reproductive Rights challenged Oklahoma HB 1970, a law that required doctors to abide by FDA requirements issued for use of the abortion drug RU-486. The Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down the law as an “undue burden” on those seeking abortions.

The Court’s question to the Oklahoma Supreme Court asks for clarity on its rationale for striking down a state chemical abortion regulation in Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice. The law required doctors to abide by FDA requirements issued for use of the abortion drug RU-486:

Senior Counsel Casey Mattox said, “One of the government’s top priorities should be to protect the health and safety of its citizens, and that’s all that Oklahoma is trying to do. The unapproved use of RU-486 has been traced to many side effects and the deaths of several women. Oklahoma is therefore right to place the health and safety of its citizens above the bottom line and ideology of abortionists. We agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to inquire further into the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s poor and unexplained decision.” “One of the government’s top priorities should be to protect the health and safety of its citizens, and that’s all that Oklahoma is trying to do. The unapproved use of RU-486 has been traced to many side effects and the deaths of several women. Oklahoma is therefore right to place the health and safety of its citizens above the bottom line and ideology of abortionists. We agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to inquire further into the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s poor and unexplained decision.”

The justices want the Oklahoma Supreme Court to answer two questions about the state law before the high court considers an appeal from the Oklahoma attorney general.

The law passed in 2011 required doctors to follow strict guidelines authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration and prohibited off-label uses of certain abortion-inducing drugs such as RU-486. Including changing a recommended dosage or prescribing it for different symptoms than the drug was initially approved for.

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