With little to update from last week, I wanted to remind you of how we got here and what’s at stake for the remainder of session.
After three years of no anti-abortion bills becoming law, this year’s legislative session has been different. Several bills were introduced that severely impacted Oklahomans' access to safe and legal abortion. There was some hope that bills that actually expanded sexual and reproductive health care would make their way through session, but unfortunately, they did not.
So far, we've fought against a bill that would criminalize any person who has an abortion or performed one. We talked to legislators about a bill that would revoke the medical license of a doctor who performed a legal abortion and a bill that would ban abortions early in a pregnancy. Even though it was tough, we also listened to legislators talk about abortions without ever mentioning why people may choose to end a pregnancy. We were able to fight all of them back.
Now, there are two bills we are following. SB 195, which would amend the state constitution to limit the rights of Oklahomans, and SB 614, which would force doctors to lie to patients by telling them that a medication abortion can be "reversed." If there is one thing we know, it is that politicians need to stay out of the exam room. This bill is already awaiting a vote by the full House. We need to stop it before it goes to the Governor’s desk. Can we count on you? We can’t let up on our legislators just yet.
Regional Director of Public Policy & Organizing
Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes
"Time is of the essence. Anti-women's-health politicians are preparing for a post-Roe future. Planned Parenthood, our supporters, and our partners will not sit by and watch our rights and freedoms be taken away. For us, it's about our patients' lives - and all of our futures."
In all, the heartbeat bills, which constitute some of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country, are among roughly 250 pieces of legislation across 41 states that aim to reduce access to the procedure. Separately, six states - including Kentucky on Tuesday - have already enacted laws that would automatically ban abortion in the event that the Supreme Court strikes down Roe.
"The Trump administration has announced it will give $5.1m in family planning funds to a chain of crisis pregnancy centres that oppose abortion and do not offer contraceptives. The Obria Group, a Southern California based non-profit that describes itself as being 'led by God,' seeks to take both patients and money away from Planned Parenthood. The Department of Health and Human Services, which announced the grant on Friday, simultaneously announced it was cutting funds to some Planned Parenthood affiliates."
OKC - Cocktails for a Cause - Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes - Tuesday, April 16
Tulsa - Cocktails for a Cause - Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes - Wednesday, April 17
OKC - Unpacking White Feminism with Rachel Cargle - Women Lead Oklahoma at Oklahoma Contemporary - Saturday, May 18
Tulsa - Empowering Indigenous Allies - Martin Regional Library - Saturday, May 18
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