April 24, 2014 — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) on Tuesday signed into law a bill (HB 2684) that will restrict the use of medication abortion drugs in the state, the AP/New York Times reports. The measure takes effect on Nov. 1 (AP/New York Times, 4/22).
Fallin previously signed a similar piece of legislation, which was later struck down by the state Supreme Court because it effectively banned all medication abortions in the state.
The new legislation was written in direct response to the court decision (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/17). The law will require that physicians in the state administer medication abortion drugs according to FDA protocol, which is a higher dose than is currently used in practice (AP/New York Times, 4/22). The new bill specifies that it does not ban the use of the drug misoprostol in medication abortions, nor prohibit the off-label use of drugs for the treatment of ectopic pregnancies (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/17).
Concerns From Abortion-Rights Supporters
According to the AP/Times, abortion-rights supporters argue the measure will deny women access to newer medication abortion regimens.
They also note it would force women seeking abortions to have a surgical procedure, rather than a medication abortion, after 49 days of pregnancy, which is the limit for the drugs under the FDA protocol (AP/New York Times, 4/22).