FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2017
Legislators in Oklahoma tomorrow will consider one of the most extreme anti-choice bills in the country: a plan to require women to get written permission from their male partners in order to have an abortion. As press reports indicate, proposals like this double down on the rise of the aggressively anti-choice ideology pushed by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and their Republican allies across the country.
In response to this dangerously out-of-touch bill, NARAL Pro-Choice America released the following statement:
“This bill is a dangerous escalation of efforts by a radical fringe to impose their rigid ideology on the rest of us. There’s no question that ideological extremists across the country have been emboldened to introduce plans like this by the rise of President Trump and his backward ideology,” said James Owens, states communications director for NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Not only does this bill seek to unconstitutionally restrict women’s right to make their own medical decisions, it undermines their fundamental autonomy over their own lives. These fringe politicians are painting a macabre picture of what they want America to look like—where women are merely vessels for childbirth and men have veto power over all of life’s decisions. People of conscience everywhere must call on our elected leaders to reject these kinds of dangerous and out-of-touch proposals.”
The Oklahoma bill would require “the written and informed consent of the father of the fetus,” a requirement that runs afoul of the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate spousal notification requirements. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the court held that such provisions constituted an unconstitutional burden on abortion access, jeopardizing the wellbeing of women in abusive relationships.
The Oklahoma bill is part of a disturbing trend of sweeping anti-choice proposals being passed in states across the country. Earlier this month, politicians in Arkansas passed a law allowing husbands to sue the doctor if their wife gets an abortion. In December, the Republican governor of Ohio signed a law outlawing abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy. Other states, including Iowa and Virginia, have advanced bills to make it harder for people in their states to access basic health care by defunding Planned Parenthood.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”