A typo in the original article has been corrected.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gave his final opinion on Roe v. Wade resulting in the 50-year precedent overturning.
The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has been on the Supreme Court docket since June of 2020.
The ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade sent seismic shock waves throughout the nation, leaving reproductive resource organizations to figure out their next move.
“Even though we have been anticipating the Dobbs case to come down in the in the next couple of days and even though we had a good idea of what was about to happen, we were still devastated with the news to see it in bold that Roe v Wade is overturned. We’re still processing,” said American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma Executive Director, Tamaya Cox-Toure.
When the decision came down, Cox-Toure said it was more than just a ruling, that there is an underlying message.
“Oklahomans specifically don’t have the right to bodily autonomy. Even though we lost access to abortion care on May 21st, we were still holding out some hope that we were going to be able to have a federal rights still,” added Cox-Toure.
Losing Roe v. Wade forces women to lose the right to bodily autonomy, according to Cox. Toure.
Cox-Toure feels as if this ruling endangers the live and health of all women, especially women of color. “We know that those cases continue to show that when bans happen, it falls more falls harshly on bipoc folks. So, yes, people are in danger, but people are in danger for a lot of reasons, having less access to health care is really scary for all of us,” she said.
Even with Roe v. Wade gone, Cox-Toure doesn’t expect abortions to stop. She said it only forces those women to look at unsafe alternatives.
“It still doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be times where people find a website that’s not healthy on the Web or find ways to end the pregnancy. That’s not healthy,” said Cox-Toure.
It’s not just the health of women at stake though, Dr. Dana Stone, a Oklahoma City OBGYN said women’s health doctors stand up against legal risk as well.
“I can be jailed for ten years with a felony and a $100,000 fine. I can be sued by anyone if I’ve been considered to aid or abet a woman in obtaining an abortion,” said Dr. Stone.
Dr. Stone told KFOR the only time a doctor is allowed to terminate a birth is in a medical emergency, but she poses the question, “How sick do I have to let someone get before I can legally intervene to help her?”
Dr. Stone said she now has to tell her patients she can’t legally help them because they’re not “sick enough.”
“I have to wait for you to get sicker to take care of you,” stated Dr. Stone.
Although Dr. Stone didn’t want to believe this ruling would happen in her lifetime, “I always still worried about it, because I knew how bad it would be and so here we are.”
Planned Parenthood representatives stated in a virtual press conference shortly after the ruling that abortions will not be practiced at their offices, but they will continue to offer contraceptive services.
In an effort for Oklahoma to see the ramifications of this ruling, ACLU Okla. has submitted three cases to the state’s Supreme Court looking for reproduction relief. So far, no response yet.
The Center for Reproductive Rights stated in a virtual press conference on Friday they would also look into strategizing and putting the ball back into their court. The organization is not ready to release their next move yet though.
Dr. Stone is looking to have more conversation with other physicians to plan a strategy as well.
Cox-Toure is hoping those are filled with rage now will reconvene tomorrow to continue the fight against anti-abortion. “We know that our liberation, including reproductive freedom, does not lie within our Oklahoma state legislature or federal government. It lies within us, so we have to continue to work collectively to fight for the freedoms that we feel strongly about.”