Reproductive rights and justice groups to hold “Bans Off Oklahoma” rally and people’s hearing at Oklahoma State Capitol
For Immediate Release: March 22, 2022
April 5 Day of Action comes in response to several anti-abortion rights bills advancing in the legislature
If you are interested in covering an action, please email [email protected]
As abortion access comes under fire in Oklahoma and at the U.S. Supreme Court, abortion providers, funds, and advocates are joining in coalition to host a “Bans Off Oklahoma” Rally and People’s Hearing at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Tuesday, April 5, at 10 a.m. CST. With more than half a dozen anti-abortion rights bills advancing in the Oklahoma legislature this session, partners will rally to fight for abortion rights and the freedom for people to make their own decisions about their bodies and their futures.
With no public testimony, the Oklahoma legislature is on track to pass a dangerous slate of bills that harm people, their families, and their communities. During this day of action, the coalition is urging supporters and activists to get involved and speak out during this critical moment. After the rally, supporters will be encouraged to join us inside the capitol for additional actions.
Together, we will send a loud and clear message to Oklahoma politicians who want to control people’s bodies and lives: BANS OFF OUR BODIES.
The organizations hosting the rally include Planned Parenthood Action Fund, ACLU of Oklahoma, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes, Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice and Trust Women.
Statement from the event organizers:
“Oklahoma lawmakers have outdone themselves this session, proposing unconstitutional and extreme abortion restrictions that would eliminate access to care for thousands in this state and beyond. Oklahomans deserve better. We have a message for every politician trying to limit our freedom and control our futures: Keep your bans off our bodies. No matter what, we will never stop advocating for the health of everyone seeking an abortion. We won’t be silent as our rights are taken away, and we’ll take the streets to bear witness to this atrocious action and send a clear message to politicians that we all deserve the right to decide for ourselves what is best for our health and our families.”
If you are interested in covering/attending the rally, please email [email protected].
This legislative session, Oklahoma lawmakers are advancing several harmful bills that would decimate abortion access in the region, including:
- H.B. 4327, a total abortion ban that, like Texas’s S.B. 8 law, would allow private individuals to act as bounty hunters and sue anyone — from an abortion provider to a patient’s family members — who helps someone seek an abortion in violation of the law.
- S.B. 1503, another Texas-style ban that would ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy and also allow private citizens to sue providers;
- S.B. 1553, a ban on abortion 30 days after a person’s last menstrual period, before many people know they are pregnant;
- S.B. 1555, a modification of the state’s trigger ban that would allow pre-Roe v. Wade statutes to take effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, even in part, and provides that the state could enforce a total ban on abortion;
- S.J.R. 37, a constitutional amendment that would eliminate any right to abortion in Oklahoma;
- S.J.R. 17, a constitutional amendment that would confer full personhood — and the rights that come with it — from conception;
- S.B. 1552, a bill that funds crisis pregnancy centers, fake clinics that lie to people seeking abortion.
Oklahoma has long been a keystone in the region’s abortion access network — but never more so than now. Oklahoma has been a lifeline for Texans seeking abortion after the state passed its near-total abortion ban. Since that ban took effect more than six months ago, some Oklahoma abortion providers have seen a nearly 2,500% increase in patients from Texas. Nearly half of all Texans who obtained an abortion out-of-state in the last six months traveled to Oklahoma.
If even one of these abortion bans take effect, access will be cut off for millions of people from Texas, along with more than 900,000 Oklahoma women of reproductive age — plus more Oklahomans who can become pregnant. Abortion patients will be forced to travel even further distances for health care that they should be able to receive in their own communities. For many Oklahomans who already face barriers to health care due to systemic racism and discrimination — especially Black, Latino, or Indigenous people; LGBTQ+ people; those who live in rural communities; or who have low incomes — abortion could be pushed out of reach entirely, with devastating consequences for their long-term health and well-being