Oklahoma Senate Votes to Require Prescriptions for EC for Those 17 and Younger


The Obama administration continues to fight efforts to make emergency contraception (EC) available over-the-counter to all people of all ages. But while the administration and the courts go back and forth over EC, the Oklahoma senate has voted in favor of a bill diminishing access to EC, potentially forcing anyone under age 17 in need of EC to get a prescription first, regardless of whether they have a valid ID.

SB 522 states that “Plan B One-Step, or its generic equivalent, also known as the ‘morning-after’ emergency contraceptive, shall not be available to women under the age of seventeen (17) without a prescription. Such emergency contraceptive shall be dispensed by pharmacists to women seventeen (17) years of age and older without a prescription.” In addition to this restriction, the bill addresses, more broadly speaking, regulations and licensing of pharmacies. A similar bill, HB 2226, which is focused on insurance benefits, also includes an EC restriction.

SB 522 was adamantly opposed on the floor by Sen. Connie Johnson (D-Oklahoma City), who cited its potential impact on teen girls, who may be likely to fall into poverty or be forced to drop out of school because of an unwanted pregnancy.  “Why would we want to limit access to contraception other than a political agenda?” Sen. Johnson asked lawmakers prior to the vote.

Despite Sen. Johnson’s opposition, the state senate passed the bill with a 34-10 vote.

SB 522 is just the latest attack on teens by the state legislature this session. Two bills that would drastically limit abortion access for teens, even in some cases with the support of a parent or guardian, have both passed this cycle and are expected to be signed into law by the governor.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Robin Marty on Twitter: @robinmarty

To schedule an interview with Robin Marty please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1196615367 Tanya Nguyễn

    What the hell? Seriously?
    Teens are having sex. I’m sorry. maybe they shouldn’t be. but they are.

    We need to empower the girls. Birth control, condoms to protect from STDs, and yes, EC. “things happen”. girls get raped, they forget a pill, a condom breaks.

    I do not want to see any teen – a stupid one who didn’t think she would get pregnant, or an unlucky one who did everything right but had an “oops” – have to have a child as PUNISHMENT for sex.

  • Karen Bullock

    it speaks volumes that a state ravaged by natural disaster is focusing instead on policing women’s sexuality. The tornado wasn’t caused by women having the sexy sexy. But heck these guys probably don’t believe in climate change either…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Kuperberg/698603245 Jonathan Kuperberg

      It’s nothing to do with women’s sexuality. It’s about parental rights and minor girls, but liberal bigots don’t get it because they don’t believe parents have rights.

      • goatini

        More like, misogynist bigots don’t believe females have rights, and they’ll take any opportunity, no matter how venal and selfish such opportunity could be, to attempt to abrogate them.

      • Dez

        So teen girls are old enough to have a baby, but not old enough to decide not to have one? Why do you hate teen girls?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Kuperberg/698603245 Jonathan Kuperberg

          I don’t hate teen girls and never have done. Unlike some of my more extreme friends in the pro-life movement I support the availability of emergency contraception, in order to help advance womens’ equality by allowing them another chance to plan their families should their regular BC method fail, compassionately lift the further spectre of possilble pregnancy from rape and incest survivors, reduce the abortion rate and prevent children from being born into bad situations. Contra right-wing science deniers I do NOT believe it is “an abortion” and as you can see from my writing above support women and born children as well as the unborn.

          However, I do believe in parents having some right to know if the girl is under 17… those teen girls don’t belong to the State no matter what Melissa Harris-Perry might say. One pro-family approach is to require a prescription as parents are more likely to have some knowledge of the situation than if they can just walk up to a drugstore counter without identifying themselves and buy it. I didn’t say they should have to have consent, either: (It’s not fair to force someone old enough to have a baby to have it or end up aborting just because their mom doesn’t want them to take Plan B.) All I ask for is *notification*. That’s a moderate position.

          You identify as a black bi woman among other things. Have you never experienced racism, sexism, biphobia or maltreatment at the intersection of those and other identities? I am only asking this because you appear to not know what “hate” means if you really think that having a belief in parental involvement for possible pregnancy counts as hating anyone.

          • Dez

            Clearly you did not understand Ms. Perry. It’s a misinformation propaganda pushed by the right wing. I heard what she said and she was using the “It takes a village to raise a child” meme. It is so simple to get if you use any thinking. Parents ownership only goes so far. Once a teen girl is pregnany, her bodily autonmy is more important than her parent’s rights to her. She should neither be forced to 9 months of pregancy and birth or be forced to have an abortion. Parental rights should only go so far. Since Plan B is safer than aspirin your concerns are unfounded.Yes I have and I use hate because you do not trust women to make their own choices regarding their bodies. Rights of others should not be involved when it becomes a personal issue like this especially when the teen girl is the only one taking all the physical consequences.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Kuperberg/698603245 Jonathan Kuperberg

            “her bodily auton[o]my is more important”… “Parental rights should only go so far”
            I agree completely. That’s why I said above that it’s not fair for her to have to go through pregnancy or abortion “just because their mom doesn’t want them to take Plan B.” i.e. teenage girls SHOULD be allowed the emergency contraceptive without the consent of a parent.

            Where I seem to differ with you is in saying that **the parent should be informed** (I did make it clear- so I share your view on the main points.) I don’t see simply informing the parent as “not trusting”, the girl still makes her own decision- just that someone knows about it.

            “Parents ownership”- no-one said anything about “owning” a child, that language is suggestive of slavery or at least oppression, the issue is who the child’s interests are entrusted to until they are old enough to have full self-determination. The pro-family position is that it is the parents, unless they cause the child serious harm and thus forfeit their rights to the state. I watch Perry on MSNBC in the original context, NOT just a clip on a RightWing source, and she lamented a “private idea” of children as the reason for insufficient funding in public education. As someone who believes parents should be free to educate their child in private school or at home and that individual and family rights must be preserved to avoid authoritarian dominance by a collective that phrasing struck me as anti-family. So nope, I didn’t just believe the RW talking point that “she said the State owns all kids”- it’s more complicated than that.

          • Dez

            The teen girl should have the option to to inform her parents, but parents do not have the right to be informed of their teen girl taking Plan B. Once a girl is able to get pregnant, parents should not have overriding say on her bodily autonmy. She alone has to bear the physical and emotional consequences of pregnancy. I know parents will be concerned for their children, but once their teen girl can one of her own, they need to release their control over her reproduction. I agree that parents should educate their children however they want, but private schools should not have any public funding or colleges should change their standards for private school or homeschooling children. Sorry but you saw what was not there. I am very familiar to her phrasing because it used in the black community often. In no way was she saying the government should raise or take away your children.