Oklahoma Attorney General O’Connor Issues Guidance on State Abortion Law


Due to the recent U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs Decision overturning long-standing Roe v. Wade, which had Constitutionally protected access to abortions, several new state abortion laws recently went into effect. Oklahoma State Attorney General John O’Connor issued a press release this week offering some guidance for law enforcement when considering these new laws. His statement does not constitute an official A.G. Legal Opinion.
 
Unless it is necessary to preserve the mother’s life, electively ending the life of an unborn child in Oklahoma is now a crime. The maximum penalty for performing an abortion is ten years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Oklahoma has also enacted laws approving private civil damages against those who perform or assist in performing abortions in Oklahoma, but those statutes do not fall under “law enforcement”. The guidance offered by A.G. O’Connor directs that Oklahoma law enforcement should be focused on ending elective abortion in Oklahoma, and that other scenarios are either not illegal or should be handled with “careful discretion” and in consultation with the Attorney General’s office.
 
OSMA continues to work with the state’s MD and DO Medical Licensure Boards to establish Compliance and Best Practices Guidelines for the medical profession under the current Oklahoma abortion statutes.