Oklahoma Follows Texas’ Lead With Law to Limit Abortion Access


Republican Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill into law Wednesday that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, among other medically unnecessary requirements for clinics in the state.

SB 1848, sponsored by Sen. Greg Treat (R-Oklahoma City), would require doctors who provide abortions to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where the abortions are performed. It also directs the state Board of Health to develop standards related to equipment, supplies, and training for clinics.

The legislation is modeled after a Texas law that has forced several clinics in the state to shutter and has caused a public health crisis in the Rio Grande Valley. Louisiana just passed its own version of the legislation, and at least three of the state’s five clinics are expected to close.

In Oklahoma, the new law is expected to close two of the state’s three clinics; Reproductive Services in Tulsa is the only abortion provider that would meet the law’s requirements.

“We all want to protect women’s health and safety. This law doesn’t do that—which is why Oklahoma’s leading medical experts oppose it,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement.

As Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, previously explained to RH Reality Check, admitting privileges laws are at odds with best medical practices, and do nothing to improve patient safety. “They are nothing more than smokescreens to their real intent of restricting access to reproductive health-care services,” said Kiesel.

The Oklahoma State Medical Association warned that law will “result in the legislature and unelected bureaucrats at the Department of Health interfering in the physician/patient relationship and crafting more burdensome regulations that … may not reflect medical science or the best interest of the patient.”

“It’s clear the intent of this legislation is to shut down health centers, and we are deeply concerned about what that will mean for women in our state if it happens,” said Anita Fream, CEO at Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma.

The law is slated to go into effect on November 1, but, as has been the case in Texas, a legal challenge is expected.

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  • prolifemama

    I was the first to comment.
    RH is too cowardly to print my comment. They’re afraid of a real discussion taking place on this website.
    Sad.

  • prolifemama

    I was the first to comment on this story. Unfortunately, my thoughts were evidently deemed unworthy of posting.
    As I mentioned on another RH article, your invitation to post comments should include a disclaimer: If you, the would-be poster, are not solidly pro-abortion, don’t bother. Your comments will be consigned to the recycle bin.
    So much for a frank exchange of ideas.

    • Arekushieru

      Oh, please, give me a break. Browse the other comments sections and you’ll see PLENTY of people with opposing views being allowed to comment on the site. If you violated the TOS, of COURSE your comments would be removed, btw. The fact that this one WAS posted proves you wrong anyways.

      Btw, we are not Pro-Abortion, that would be just as anti-choice as you.

      • prolifemama

        For clarity, Arekushieru, I, and many others, define “pro-abortion” as someone who is okay with abortions being done. It is logical to say that if someone doesn’t disapprove of abortion in general, then they are in favor of abortions being done; therefore, they are “for” or “pro” abortion.
        As a prolife woman, I advocate many choices, particularly women in unintended pregnancy being asked what needs they want to have met, so that abortion doesn’t feel like their only, or even best, option. These needs include completing their education, affordable or free pre- and post-natal medical care, dental care, housing, rent assistance, job-sharing, transportation, babysitting, and essentials such as groceries, clothing, etc. Whatever they need to live comfortably, to continue fulfilling their goals, and to choose life for their child, we prolifers do our best to provide.
        One organization that has been doing this for nearly 30 years is Heartbeat International. They put women in touch with local help to fulfill the needs mentioned above. They began in Columbus, Ohio as a small network of centers meeting the needs of North, South, East and West Columbus. They have branched out to a growing worldwide network of pregnancy help centers where women can go to have their needs met, wherever they are, s that both mother and baby can not only survive a crisis pregnancy, but thrive. Dr. Margaret Hartshorn is HI’s founder, and an attorney who helps to arrange adoptions, including open adoptions.
        Another organization, founded by Mary Cunningham Agee, is The Nurturing Network. It also helps women in unintended pregnancy, especially university women and post-grad students, as well as professional women, for whom a pregnancy would pose a almost insurmountable hurdle. Lateral promotions are engineered, and credit transfers to other universities, so that careers, both business and college, are not interrupted for these women. They also assist with adoption placement and childcare if the mother choose to parent.
        Great choices, and numerous options that actually help women and their children by listening to their needs and meeting them.
        Most women in unintended pregnancy don’t want to abort their children. Many say afterward that if just one person had offered to help them meet their challenges so they could continue their pregnancies, they would never have resorted to abortion.
        I am dedicated to reaching out to women in these crisis pregnancies, asking what I can do for them, so that they and their babies can continue living and actually enjoy their lives.

        • lady_black

          You have no solution to unwanted pregnancy. Plain and simple.

          • prolifemama

            Please elaborate.

          • lady_black

            Yeah, I think that’s pretty self-explanatory, no? A woman is pregnant and doesn’t want to be pregnant. Your answer?

          • prolifemama

            Did you read my response of three days ago to Arekushieru, that begins “For clarity,…”?

          • lady_black

            That doesn’t make her un-pregnant. Therefore you solve nothing.

          • prolifemama

            So you’re saying that for every woman who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, the default is abortion-minded?

          • lady_black

            Not at all. “Unexpected pregnancy” is not synonymous with “unwanted pregnancy.” It just isn’t! Many women with unexpected pregnancies will give birth and parent the child. A few others will give birth and want nothing to do with the child, relinquishing the infant for adoption. Some don’t want to give birth at all, or realize that other current obligations (other children, education, employment) make giving birth unrealistic. Still others will discover that the pregnancy they wanted has gone horribly wrong and they do not want to, or can’t safely, continue the pregnancy. Those last two are the ones for whom abortion is the right choice.

        • Arekushieru

          Wrong, again. I am not ‘okay’ with abortions being done. I am ‘okay’ with individual women having the same right as everyone else to choose who uses their body and when and how it is used via ongoing, explicit and informed consent, with regards to termination OR continuation of a pregnancy. So, sorry, you have not proven that pro-abortion is anything other than the opposite end of the anti-choice spectrum as yourself. Thanks.

          Pro-Choicers actually tend to be the ones to provide the necessities that women need to make decisions without any coercion or compulsion involved. And they do that by NOT requiring poor women to run through more hoops than their wealthy counterparts have to, if any. After all, Pro-‘Life’ politicians are the ones who cut funding to social programs like TANF, SNAP, WIC, etc…. AW.

          Both Heartbeat International and The Nurturing Network sound like the typical adoption trafficking organizations we’ve all come to know and love as CPCs. Coerced adoptions and/or a single cheque to cover the costs of a pack of diapers, then the woman is on her own. Lateral promotion? Sounds like just because she got pregnant the woman had to give up something. Pretty typical coming from an anti-choicer.

          Also, the reason women with unintended pregnancies NEED help for them to meet their challenges is precisely because of those selfsame Pro-‘Life’ politicians I described earlier. NOT Pro-Choicers. Kthx.

          • P. McCoy

            Yes, why do so called pro lifers vote for people who deprive born children of the means to live as in the programs stated above. Also in the SF Bay Area, I saw numerous pro life ads (bill boards) showing pictures of Aryan babies as examples of why one should be pro life. These were displayed even in Black and Latino neighborhoods; I didn’t even see a brunette White baby picture-so what was the real message? That only these babies are the only ones that matter? Must be so because although there.are tens of thousands of children languishing in the American foster care and adoption system, they don’t get adopted for just one reason- the desire, demand and shortage of Aryan healthy infants.

    • Jennifer Starr

      Did your comments include a link? Because of the spam filter, many comments with links have a tendency to go into moderation.

      • prolifemama

        Hey, Jennifer – thanks for being a kind voice on this website. No, there was no link. My post just stayed in the ether for an hour or so, then the website went back to saying “Be the first to comment.”
        Could you please tell me where the TOS is about which Arekushieru told me? I’d like to read it.
        Thanks again!