OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – News was leaked this week of a draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe vs Wade and allow the states to make and enforce their own abortion laws. With all the abortion-restricting laws passed recently here at the Oklahoma State Capitol, what does abortion access look like if Roe v Wade is overturned?
“Everyone is really sad; its disappointing.” Dr. Iman Alsaden, medical director, Planned Parenthood Great Plains.
“This is a very dark day and absolutely concerning to us.” said Emily Wales, interim president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Great Plains.
Reaction are coming in from abortion care officials to the leaked SCOTUS opinion. Reaction was polarized at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
“Outstanding news for the lives of innocent babies,” said Rep. Jim Olsen.
“It’s not often in this country that we move backwards in a such a striking way,” said Rep. Emily Virgin.
There was a small gathering of protestors in the rotunda, and about 100 pro-choice advocates could be seen on the Capitol’s south steps, protesting the bombshell leak.
“The news coming out last night of the leak of the Supreme Court possibly overturning Roe v. Wade was very jarring,” said Anna Artz. “There are [Oklahomans] who support abortion rights and who believe that everybody deserves equal access to equal healthcare, and abortion is healthcare.”
“I honestly feel like a man is trying to take away my power and tell me what to do with my own body. What if I don’t want to have a baby?” asked protester Adison Arthur. “Life is important, but I feel like a woman having the right to choose whether she carries that is important.”
Officials point out it’s only a draft of an opinion, abortions are still legal in Oklahoma. But what happens if this decision is made final in June or July as expected?
“If SCOTUS overturns Roe v Wade and Casey, then our previous statues would go into effect,” said Sen. Nathan Dahm of Broken Arrow.
Lawmakers say the “trigger law” passed last year would revert Oklahoma back to a 1910 State law that prohibits abortions and wipe any laws passed in the last 50 years that protect abortions off the books.
“I think that looks like abortion clinics immediately shutting down,” said Virgin.
Of the many abortion-restricting laws passed in the last few years at the State Capitol, officials say there are two that would also kick in. SB 1503, or the “Texas style” Heartbeat bill was signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday. It opens up doctors to civil suits if abortion is performed after 6 weeks of pregnancy. That bill would take effect immediately. SB612, that become law in August, makes it a criminal act for physicians to perform abortion from conception. Officials say it would make Oklahoma…
“One of the most, if not the most, pro-life states in the nation,” said Rep. Cindy Roe of Lindsay.
The ACLU and Planned Parenthood say the lawsuits they have against those two laws in State Supreme Court would normally fall back on Roe v Wade to protect abortion access.
“This is it the end of Roe; it’s here and we are going to have to fight back at the state level,” said Emily Wales of Planned Parenthood.
“It’s very possible that our Oklahoma State Supreme Court could find that there is a right to an abortion in our State Constitution,” said Tamaya Cox-Toure of ACLU Oklahoma.
Abortion care providers say even if abortion does become illegal in Oklahoma, it will not stop the procedures.
“These laws don’t stop abortions, they push it out of sight. They push it to other states,” said Zackary Gingrich Gaylord of Trust Women Clinics
Planned Parenthood says 26 states have trigger laws that would kick in. Both of the new Oklahoma laws do allow abortions if the life of the mother is at risk.