The Woodward News

Local News

August 22, 2013

Pruitt discusses ACA lawsuit


Woodward, Okla. — RU486

On another front, Pruitt’s office has recently filed a brief in support of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review an Oklahoma abortion case involving a state law - HB 1970 - passed in 2011.

HB 1970 attempted to limit the use of RU486 to the strict FDA protocols it set forth when it approved the drug. HB 1970 was deemed unconstitutional by a lower court and the Oklahoma High Court upheld the lower court’s decision, Pruitt said.

In a bold move, Pruitt’s office requested the U.S. Supreme Court review the case and find in favor of the law restricting the use of the abortion drug, RU486 to the FDA protocols.

 The U.S. Supreme Court grants such reviews in less than 1 percent of all cases. We’re grateful for the opportunity to address the court’s questions and defend the state’s ability to enact safeguards to ensure the well-being of Oklahoma women,” Pruitt said.

RU486 is a drug which will cause an abortion when given before 49 days of pregnancy and in line with a strict protocol, along with misoprostol - a drug originally labeled to prevent gastric ulcers, according to the legal brief filed by Pruitt’s office.

Misoprostol has not been approved by the FDA for use in inducing abortions, however it is included as a part of the FDA’s protocol for RU486, according to Pruitt’s legal brief.

Pruitt said Tuesday that there have been eight deaths in the United States because of the use of RU486 outside of the FDA’s guidelines, which include strict physician oversight, return visits and emergency surgical preparedness.

Pruitt noted he wants the nation’s High Court to strike down the ruling of Oklahoma’s high court.

“We have a right to protect the health of our citizens in this state,” he said.

Before the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take the case, they asked Oklahoma’s High Court if the spirit of HB 1970 was meant to prohibit the use of misoprostol in abortions, including its concomitant use by the FDA in the protocol for use with RU486.

In Pruitt’s brief, he spelled out, the goal of HB 1970 was only to restrict RU486 to the guidelines given to its use by the FDA.

He stated that as long as misoprostol was used in accordance with the FDA’s guidelines along with RU486, that HB 1970 was not attempting to prohibit its use.

Pruitt said because of the misuse of the drug RU486 and misoprostol, far outside of the FDA’s approved guidelines, there have been deaths.

He stated in his brief that as soon as the drug became available, abortion providers had altered the FDA guidelines including allowing the drugs to be taken at home, not requiring a return checkup to ensure the abortion was complete and even allowing patients to use the drug misoprostol vaginally. Among others, these deviations from the FDA protocols were present in all eight death cases in the U.S., according to the brief.

Pruitt said oral arguments in the case could begin within months.

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office has also been working to block the overreaching arm of the federal government where the EPA is concerned, Pruitt said.

With regard to hydro-fracking and other environmental energy policies in the state, Pruitt and his staff have filed  requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. They are asking, Pruitt said, for several EPA cases, which he believes could strengthen the state’s assertion that it can and has been for years, regulating hydraulic fracking and other energy activities in the state.

Despite multiple requests that were detailed, the EPA has failed to produce the documents in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, Pruitt said.

“Now we are going to have to” sue them for the information, Pruitt said.

Tuesday, during an earlier meeting, Pruitt discussed his Worker’s Compensation fraud unit. He noted that his office has increased the number of active Worker’s Compensation fraud investigations by 62 percent.

He believes Worker’s Compensation fraud amounts to a crippling impact on Oklahoma business development and he pledged to the attendees of the Worker’s Compensation workshop, offered Tuesday by the Oklahoma State Chamber, to be their partner in fighting that kind of fraud.

Text Only
Local News
  • Tulsa man looking for military friend

    There are times in everyone's life when you think back and wonder whatever happened to those old friends from your past.

    July 23, 2014

  • Zoning change approved by commission

    Monday night Woodward city commissioners unanimously approved a zoning change that was contested by one local man who was protesting because he wants the neighborhood to continue its residential growth.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tangier Reunion set for Saturday, Sunday

    When Barbara (Allison) Merwin thinks back to the years she spent in the classrooms of Tangier High School, it takes a few moments for her to recall how school life was 60 years ago.

    July 23, 2014

  • Traveler Majors take regional opener

    ALVA - The Traveler Majors continued their strong Connie Mack playoff showing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • County OKs road use agreement

    Woodward County Commissioners on Monday approved a final version of a road use agreement between a energy company planning a wind turbine construction project near southeast Woodward County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Camp to show art is everywhere

    The Woodward Arts Theatre will become a recycling plant next week.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairview Wrangler Rodeo turns 50 this year

    Western fun continues in Northwest Oklahoma as the Fairview Wrangler’s hosting their 50th annual rodeo.

    July 22, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has educators worried

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — With the Legislature's repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they're concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 state which have implemented the standards.

    July 22, 2014

  • web1.jpg Travelers win Connie Mack state championship

    Down 2-0 and down to their final three outs, the Traveler Majors delivered a championship rally in the seventh inning Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • Hearing set on rezoning

    City commissioners will tackle rezoning items and a licensing agreement amendment Monday evening at the regularly scheduled meeting of the City of Woodward and Woodward Municipal Authority.

    July 20, 2014