Advocates for maternal health respond to rally to abolish abortion

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Earlier this week, there was a show of support at the State Capitol for abolishing abortion, but Thursday was a different story.

Advocates are asking lawmakers to shift their focus to other issues – including maternal health at the 5th annual “Pink Love Press Conference and Lobby Day.”

Several organizations attended, advocating for immigration rights, missing and murdered indigenous women, justice reform and maternal health.

“On average, one woman dies each month in Oklahoma from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth,” said Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson.

Dickerson is advocating for several House and Senate bills prioritizing women’s health; bills she says should not be ignored.

“This is a plight that simply giving life should not end yours,” she said.

Among those bills – House Bill 3088, which would require training for maternal healthcare providers on implicit bias.

Also, Senate Bill 1238, which would require reporting requirements for maternal mortality.

The group Oklahomans Call for Reproductive Justice said that “too often lawmakers fix their efforts on abortion bills and policy that harms marginalized communities.”

This comes just days after a rally at the State Capitol in support of abolishing abortion.

The Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act is authored by Sen. Joseph Silk (R) of Broken Bow.

The bill has been around in some form for three years but hasn’t gone to a vote.

Now Silk says it’s time to strengthen steps toward abolishing abortion – going farther than just being pro-life.

“Oklahoma has not passed a law to abolish abortion yet but what we have done in just a few short years has taken all the wind out of the sails of the pro-life movement,” Silk said.

But Dickerson says despite what some lawmakers say – the fight is still there.

“Many of them seem to feel like they’ve had some training and they’re deciding to be what I call a ‘gynotician,'” Dickerson said. “A lot of people simply don’t realize that abortion care is simply health care.”

For a full list of bills supported by Oklahomans Call for Reproductive Justice Policy, click here.

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