Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: June 27, 2013
  • Case #: 12-1094
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Court Below: 2012 OK 102, 292 P.3d 27
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether the Oklahoma Supreme Court erred in holding that Oklahoma House Bill 1970 is facially unconstitutional under Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

House Bill 1970 (HB1970) amended Oklahoma’s Public Health Code to require that abortion inducing drugs be administered according to Food and Drug Administration “FDA” protocols. Respondent, reproductive health care providers, sued Petitioner, various state officials, in state district court claiming that HB1970 violated several provisions in the Oklahoma constitution. The parties cross-motioned for summary judgement and the state district court found that Oklahoma’s constitution contained "a right to an abortion that was coextensive with the federal right,” and that HB1970’s purpose was to create a substantial obstacle, invoking Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Petitioner appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which held HB1970 facially unconstitutional pursuant to Casey.

Petitioners filed for certiorari arguing that the Oklahoma Supreme Court decision misapplied Casey, and conflicts with Planned Parenthood v. DeWine. The Supreme Court granted certiorari pending a response from the Supreme Court of Oklahoma on whether HB1970 prohibits (1) the use of misoprostol to induce abortions, including the use of misoprostol in conjunction with mifepristone according to a protocol approved by the FDA; and (2) the use of methotrexate to treat ectopic pregnancies.

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