Oklahoma anti-abortion legislation now facing a lawsuit

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A women’s clinic in Oklahoma is already seeing an influx of calls from Texans after the state’s controversial abortion law went into effect on Wednesday.

Now similar Oklahoma legislation is facing a challenge.

“This is going to put a strain on resources really cross the country again for those people that can make it out of Texas,” said Zack Gingrich-Gaylord, Trust Women Communications Director.

Trust Women’s Zack Gingrich-Gaylord says their Oklahoma City location is working to help Texans rushing to get an abortion after Senate Bill 8 went into effect. That bill banning abortions around 6 weeks.

Trust Women has locations in both OKC and Wichita, using their Wichita location as overflow for Texans if they are willing to make the drive.

KFOR is told the OKC location typically takes 15 to 20 calls a day but between the 31st and the 1st, 80 calls taken in the office– with 50-55 of them from Texas.

“I don’t think it can be expressed strongly enough just how dangerous this type of legislation is, especially for our country,” Gingrich-Gaylord said. “They’re making this trip, traveling these hours, hundreds of miles for a ten-minute procedure or a pill. It really is incredible.”

But just around the corner, Oklahoma has its own new abortion laws set to take effect on November 1st.  

Including House Bill 2441, which prohibits abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. 

With both state’s laws, abortion is outlawed– often before a woman knows she is pregnant. 

Representative Todd Russ is the Oklahoma bill’s author. 

“We’re very much like Texas. We’re very pro-life. We celebrate life. We protect life,” said Rep. Todd Russ, (R) Cordell. “So, if we have no abortion clinics in Oklahoma, that means we don’t have people killing babies in Oklahoma.”

On Thursday, the Center for Reproductive Rights announcing a lawsuit to block 5 anti-abortion laws in Oklahoma including House Bill 2441– calling them unconstitutional.

The president of the Center of Reproductive Rights saying in a statement to News 4– in part,

“It’s unbelievable that in the midst of a global pandemic, Oklahoma’s lawmakers would have people drive hundreds of miles to access abortion services. They should be focusing on containing the spread of COVID-19 and saving the lives of people in their state instead of taking away their citizens’ constitutional rights.”

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights

Representative Russ tells KFOR he is not surprised at the legal challenges to his anti-abortion law and is looking forward to seeing how things progress in Oklahoma courts.

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