Appeals court refuses to take up abortion dispute

A federal appeals court Monday night dismissed a challenge to a ruling that let medication abortions and certain surgical ones continue in Oklahoma during the coronavirus crisis.

The three judges on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused on a technicality to consider the merits of the issue. Oklahoma officials were challenging a ruling last week in Oklahoma City federal court.

The ruling involves Gov. Kevin Stitt’s emergency ban on elective surgeries and minor medical procedures in the state until the end of the month because of the coronavirus crisis. The governor in March made clear that those restrictions include most abortion services.

Abortion providers in the state challenged those restrictions to Oklahoma City federal court. U.S. District Judge Charles Goodwin ruled in their favor and against Stitt in part on April 6.

In a temporary restraining order, the judge allowed medication abortions and certain surgical ones to continue. The state then appealed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

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