The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left intact a state court decision invalidating an Oklahoma law that effectively banned the so-called abortion pill RU-486, with the justices deciding to sidestep a potentially contentious case.
The high court had been waiting for the Oklahoma Supreme Court to clarify a December 2012 ruling that had voided the law before deciding on whether to rule on the case. Last week, the state court issued a new opinion explaining its reasoning in more detail.
The U.S. high court's latest action means the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling is final. That ruling invalidated a state law it said had the effect of banning abortion-inducing drugs altogether.
The group Center for Reproductive Rights, which had challenged the law, said the Supreme Court's action means that women in Oklahoma will now have access to drug-induced abortions in addition to non-surgical treatment of ectopic pregnancies in which an embryo implants outside the uterus.