An Oklahoma abortion ban is on its way to Republican governor Kevin Stitt’s desk: Senate Bill 612 would make it a felony for any person to “purposely perform or attempt to perform an abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency.”
The penalty for performing an abortion outside of those conditions: a fine of up to $100,000, or imprisonment for up to ten years.
The bill will likely be signed into law. Stitt has called himself “the most pro-life governor in the country,” and previously promised to sign “every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk.” The Oklahoma abortion ban will potentially force pregnant people in the state to carry pregnancies against their will, but it will also have a larger affect. After a Texas ban on abortion after six weeks went into effect in September, those who have the resources to travel across state lines have sought appointments in Oklahoma, the New York Times reported at the time.
“This ban will harm all of us, but the impacts will fall hardest on people of color, survivors of sexual and domestic violence, immigrants, people with low incomes, young people, and people living in rural areas,” said Tamya Cox-Toure, co-President of Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice, in a statement on Tuesday. “We must all come together to protect one another by standing up against shame and judgment in our communities and supporting the local organizations like the Roe Fund and independent clinics that are finding ways to help impacted people and their families through this devastating time.”
During a press call with the Center for Reproductive Rights in February, abortion providers were loud and clear: bans like the one in Texas will become the norm in many parts of the country if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, which they’re likely to do in the next year.
Being denied the right to abortion has a significant negative effect on women and on children. That’s obvious to many of us, but it’s worth looking at the stats: The Turnaway Study, which followed nearly 1,000 women over five years, found that abortion does not harm women, and that women who are refused abortion have worse outcomes in the long run when it comes to physical health, financial stability, and the safety of their children. Women who were denied abortions were four times more likely to have a household income below the poverty line. They were three times more likely to be unemployed. They were also more likely to be unable to afford household needs including food. They were also more likely to stay in touch with violent partners.
The attack on women’s rights to not be forced to remain pregnant is scary and urgent. You can read Glamour’s explainer on how to prepare for if Roe v. Wade falls here, and keep up with the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood.
Jenny Singer is a staff writer for Glamour. You can follow her on Twitter.