Oklahoma Supreme Court keeps anti-abortion laws on hold while challenge is pending | OUT WEST ROUNDUP

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Oklahoma

The anti-abortion laws will remain in place pending a Supreme Court case

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 opinion on November 14 that the state constitution guarantees a woman’s right to an abortion when it is necessary to preserve her life, even if the procedure is illegal in all other cases.

In the year In a legal battle over five separate anti-abortion bills passed by the Legislature in 2021, the court ordered a lower court to stay a temporary stay on three of the laws. Two of the laws were previously stayed by a circuit court judge.

The three laws the court said included: requiring doctors who perform abortions to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology; that doctors who administer abortion drugs have admitting privileges at the nearest hospital; And an ultrasound is required 72 hours before the administration of abortion drugs.

A spokesman for Oklahoma Attorney General Drummond said his office is reviewing the court’s decision and will respond.

Abortion providers stopped performing the procedure in Oklahoma in May 2022 after Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law the strictest abortion ban in the country. Nearly a month later, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the constitutional protections women have to have abortions, overturning abortion bans in more than 20 states.

The number of abortions performed in Oklahoma immediately fell sharply, from 4,145 in 2021 to 898 in 2022, according to statistics from the Oklahoma State Department of Health. In the year Abortion was necessary to avoid maternal death in at least 66 cases by 2022, statistics show.

New Mexico

A total commitment is needed to address security issues, says the AG

ALBUQUERQUE – Solving New Mexico’s public safety problems will require a generational commitment, the state’s top attorney urged policymakers Nov. 3 to listen to those working with people who need mental health services.

Attorney General Raul Torrez spent hours listening to presenters and other experts from around the state. It was Torrez’s second time hosting. The first was in September, bringing together law enforcement officers and prosecutors to share ideas on how to curb violent crime.

The meetings come as New Mexico continues to struggle with a crime rate that remains well above the national average. Torrez said the majority of violent crimes stem from child abuse and neglect, drug abuse and intergenerational trauma – all problems that are now being dealt with in silos, working separately from specialists.

The attorney general’s office said it plans to use what it learns from the meetings to make recommendations to the governor and state legislatures before the legislative session in January.

The session focused on budget issues, and Torrez said there will be no shortage of resources for lawmakers to move toward more efficient programs as New Mexico tries to find financial windfalls other than oil and gas production.

Mental health providers who attended the conference said that lawmakers are committed to making sure that people in their communities have easy access to services.

An energy regulator that released methane

SANTA FE – The top state regulator of the oil industry in New Mexico, who helped implement new limits on methane pollution and waste, will leave her position at the end of the year, the governor’s office announced Nov. 9.

Sarah Cottrell Propst is ending her five-year tenure as secretary of the Department of Energy, Mines and Natural Resources — a period that has seen an unprecedented expansion of oil and natural gas production. New Mexico is the nation’s No. 2 oil producer.

Advanced oil drilling techniques have opened up vast amounts of natural gas that stretch from part of New Mexico’s Permian basin to Texas, where producers sometimes struggle to fully collect and transport the gas.

State oil and gas regulators have updated regulations to limit methane venting and flaring at petroleum production sites, and to control the greenhouse gas and provide some subsidies for emergency and mandatory reports when uncontrolled.

Cottrell Propst led an agency with more than 550 employees responsible for overseeing everything from forest health to 35 state parks.

Arizona

Tribes fight US over $10 billion renewable energy transmission line.

Work on a $10 billion project to boost renewable energy across the West has stalled in southwestern Arizona, where Native American tribes say the federal government has ignored concerns about the potential impact of the SunZia transmission line on religious and cultural sites.

After the Tohono Odham Nation requested immediate intervention, federal land managers temporarily suspended work on the 50-mile project at the SunZia transmission project in early November, where bulldozers are clearing the San Pedro Valley and one or more historic sites. They are broken.

The tribes were appealed to by the San Carlos Apache Tribe and archaeologists. Neighboring Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico and other tribes in the southwestern US have also raised concerns, saying the area has cultural and historical significance for them.

Renewable energy advocates say the Sunzia project will be a key artery for the Biden administration to increase renewable capacity and improve reliability across the nation’s power grid. It stretches 550 miles from central New Mexico, transporting electricity from giant wind farms to remote areas of California.

Pattern Energy, the developer, has billed the Sunzia project as more energy infrastructure than the Hoover Dam.

Natalie McCue, Pattern Energy’s vice president of environmental and permitting operations, said the company has made efforts to address tribal concerns over the years and that the transmission line will be similar to existing infrastructure in the valley to minimize impacts.

UTAH

Police will investigate allegations of sexual assault against the man who allegedly inspired the film.

SALT LAKE CITY – Police in Utah are looking into the claims of a woman who founded an anti-child-trafficking organization made famous last summer in a movie that sexually assaulted six women in the first known criminal investigation of two charges.

The woman filed a sexual assault claim against Tim Ballard to police in Lyndon on Nov. 1, according to a police report obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune through a records request.

Investigators scheduled a meeting the next day, the report said. There are no details about the investigation. The city’s police chief, who has about 10,000, confirmed an interview but declined to comment further, citing an active investigation.

The founder of Ballard’s Operation Underground Railroad has been sued by five women who say he sexually assaulted, molested and molested them on overseas trips designed to lure and arrest child sex traffickers.


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The criminal probe comes as Utah’s legislative auditor began investigating Attorney General Sean Reyes’ office at the request of state lawmakers, including whether Reyes’ longtime friendship with Ballard led to any state aid for Operation Subway, or “Voice of Freedom.” A film based on the organization’s activities that was a hit with conservative moviegoers last summer.

Ballard has denied the sexual assault allegations, and Ken Krogh, president of the SPEAR Fund, an anti-trafficking organization where Ballard is now listed as a senior adviser, reiterated them in a statement.

Ballard resigned from Operation Underground Railroad amid allegations of sexual assault.

The complaint against Ballard centers on “couple trickery,” where women associated with Operation Underground Railroad tricked child sex traffickers into posing as legitimate clients, according to the lawsuit filed by the five women. Utah State Court.



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