PLANNED PARENTHOOD GREAT PLAINS VOTES
PLANNED PARENTHOOD ACTION FUND
Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes contact: [email protected]
Planned Parenthood Action Fund contact: [email protected]
Six anti-abortion bills — passed in a single day — now head to the Governor’s desk
OKLAHOMA CITY — In the last 24 hours, the Oklahoma Legislature passed six anti-abortion bills, which threaten to end abortion access in Oklahoma by severely restricting care or banning it altogether.
This sweeping attack on abortion access includes a total ban on abortion, which is blatantly unconstitutional and makes clear state legislators are only focused on one thing: eliminating access to abortion in Oklahoma. The legislative onslaught also includes a bill that would ban all abortion at six weeks, before many people even know they are pregnant; a bill that would prevent experienced, qualified physicians who are not board-certified OB/GYNs from providing safe, legal abortion, despite the shortage of OB/GYNs in the state; a measure that would require providers to give patients medically inaccurate information; another medication abortion attack in the form of onerous burdens on providers, pharmacies and pharmaceutical manufacturers; and a “trigger” law to immediately ban access to abortion in Oklahoma if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Statement from Brandon Hill, Ph.D., president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes:
“Oklahoma’s politicians have forgotten that, when they pass targeted and unconstitutional laws in the Capitol, their decisions impact real lives. The number of Americans who support the right to safe and legal abortion is at a record high. We will not back down from attacks on the reproductive freedom of Oklahomans, because when abortion is not an option, Oklahomans will suffer. States with more abortion restrictions tend to have poorer health outcomes for women and children than other states. In fact, Oklahoma already ranks in the bottom 20 states that have the worst infant and maternal mortality rates in the nation. Politicians should focus on improving access to health care, not making it harder.”
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“What happened today in the Oklahoma legislature is disgraceful. These bills are cruel and unjust. At a time when people need economic relief and more access to health care, Oklahoma’s politicians are moving to dismantle abortion access, putting patients and providers alike at risk. And it’s not just happening in Oklahoma. Across the country, state politicians are fixated on pushing dangerous legislation and controlling our bodies. We won’t stand for it. We will continue to fight back and work towards protecting access for Planned Parenthood patients.”
Statement from Gloria Pedro, regional manager of public policy and organizing for Arkansas and Oklahoma, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes:
“The Oklahoma Legislature has made banning abortion their top priority, ignoring the reality of Oklahomans suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic and from a lack of comprehensive health care in the state. Further, Planned Parenthood stands with Black women today and every day, refusing to allow the racist rhetoric from members of the Legislature used in attacks on abortion to continue unchecked. Elected officials should be focused on helping Black women, and all women, by protecting and extending abortion access, not limiting it. Oklahomans need real leadership now, not politicians pushing their own agendas.”
All of these bills are part of a nationwide effort to further push abortion access out of reach. With more than 500 abortion restrictions introduced across the country, this year is shaping up to be the most hostile in recent memory for abortion access. Emboldened by Trump’s violent rhetoric and the new makeup of the Supreme Court, state politicians are pushing a dangerous agenda to take away basic rights rapidly, even more so under the Biden administration when they know access lies at the state level.
Today’s avalanche of legislation attacking abortion would prevent Oklahomans from accessing a safe procedure that one in four American women in their lifetime will need. Abortion bans are inherently racist and disproportionately harm people of color, specifically Black women.
Time and time again, anti-abortion politicians in the Oklahoma Legislature have used racist rhetoric, linking essential and time-sensitive abortion care to the horrors of legalized slavery. This inappropriate and grotesque comparison has been refuted and debunked by Black women.
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Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes is an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)4 nonprofit organization that advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. We lobby state lawmakers, mobilize more than 120,000 grassroots supporters, and engage in issue education in order to protect and expand access to health care and comprehensive sex education in the communities we serve, and to promote Planned Parenthood’s mission.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.
HB 1102 would revoke the medical license of any doctor who performs an abortion that is not deemed medically necessary to preserve the life or prevent irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the patient. This bill places unnecessary restrictions on the rights of providers to perform constitutionally protected medical procedures.
HB 1904 would make it illegal for otherwise qualified health care providers who are not board-certified OB/GYNs to provide abortion services in the state of Oklahoma. Current state law only allows physicians to perform abortions, though evidence shows that abortions can safely and effectively be provided by properly trained advanced practice clinicians. There is no medical reason to expand a restriction that is already unnecessary.
HB 2441 would require a test to detect fetal heart tones before an abortion is performed and if one is detected, a patient could not legally obtain an abortion, except in very narrow circumstances. Functionally, HB 2441 could ban abortion as early as six weeks, before many people know they are pregnant. This bill is one of many this session that unlawfully and unconstitutionally criminalizes patients and doctors and attempts to end abortion in Oklahoma. Restrictions in this bill are similar to one that anti-choice Gov. Fallin vetoed in 2016. Similar legislation has already been ruled unconstitutional in Georgia.
SB 778 creates new restrictions for providers and facilities on medication abortion, such as increased requirements for who can administer the medication, and mandating the provision of so-called abortion “reversal” information, despite the fact that the Legislature passed an abortion “reversal” law in 2019, which is currently enjoined by a state court.
SB 779 forms the Oklahoma Abortion-Inducing Drug Certification Program creating arduous requirements for manufacturers, distributors, and physicians. This bill is designed to prevent anyone in Oklahoma from accessing medication abortion by making the pills too difficult to bring into the state. The fiscal impact statement prepared for this bill states it would require the state Board of Pharmacy to add 48 employees to administer the provisions, with a total cost to the taxpayers of $12 million.
SB 918 is a “trigger ban” that creates an instant ban on abortion in the state in the event of a federal law change or SCOTUS ruling unfavorably on abortion rights, overturning the precedent set in Roe v. Wade.