OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Abortion automatically became banned in Oklahoma when Roe v Wade was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday.
That’s because the state enacted a trigger law to ban the procedure if the precedent of Roe was overturned, meaning a women’s right to choose was struck down.
“In 1973 the United States Supreme Court blocked our voice as a people and and put our law on the shelf by holding that the United States Constitution guaranteed a right to an abortion. That decision called Roe versus Wade led to over 60 million American children not seeing the light of day and so that’s 49 years ago,” said John O’Connor, Oklahoma Attorney General.
States are now able to individually make the decision whether to ban an abortion, and Oklahoma is one of 13 moving to immediately enact laws to do just that.
Senate Bill 1555, known as a trigger law, is now in effect. Oklahoma’s trigger law immediately bans abortions.
This has left anti-abortion rights advocates thrilled with the decision.
“What an opportunity. What a time to be in office or to even, you know, to be in the United States when this decision has finally been returned to the states where it should have been in the first place. So, Oklahoma has been prepared for this decision,” said Wendy Stearman, member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Abortion advocates say it's devastating.
"It's devastating... It wasn't necessarily a shock, I don't think. But it still is devastating just to see in writing from the Supreme Court of the United States that we now have less rights than we did yesterday,” said Emily Virgin, member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
But how will the state support these women with resources after conception?
"How do we take care of them? And we're not given much of an answer there. There is a program within the health department that is called the Choosing Childbirth Options. But what we've seen come out in media reports lately is like millions of dollars have been allocated to that. But very few people have actually been helped, said Virgin.
"Well, in the state of Oklahoma, there are already resources in place. So many private organizations seek to help women who want to have their child and raise it or want to adopt it. So many different organizations are already in place, as well as there are state services that already provide for anyone who is struggling," said Stearman.
The Attorney General says Oklahoma has resources for people who need assistance financially or with health care.
"I hope that the state and the federal government will step in that gap. And if they won't, I'll personally work to make sure that the state does or that our church friends and our social service agencies do. We'll take care of those moms in Oklahoma,” said O'Connor.
Providers can face a felony charge for performing the procedure.
Currently in Oklahoma, drugs like Plan B are not banned but will be looked into according to the Attorney General.
As for religious exemptions, there aren't any.
“The law is written as the law is currently. Any sort of religious exemption that I'm not real familiar with would have to be written into the existing statutes because there's not a religious exemption at this point,” said AJ Ferate, GOP State Chairman.
All abortions are now banned in Oklahoma, except to save a mother’s life, rape or incest.