NARAL Pro-Choice America

Shortcut Navigation:

Get Email Updates


Donate now to support NARAL Pro-Choice America

Anti-choice groups are attacking women’s rights everywhere. Your gift helps us fight back!

Donate Now


Refusal to Provide Medical Services


Oklahoma allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide abortion services.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Individuals, hospitals, health-care facilities, and any other entities.

What does the refusal clause allow?  No person or entity may be required to provide, assist in providing, counsel on, or refer for abortion services, or to participate in abortion care or abortion aftercare except when necessary to preserve the woman's life.  No employer shall discriminate against an employee or prospective employee who refuses to provide, assist in providing, counsel on, or refer for abortion services based on religious beliefs unless the employer can demonstrate that accommodation for such refusal would pose an undue hardship on the program, enterprise, or business of the employer.

No private hospital or health-care facility is required to permit abortion care. The refusal of an individual to participate in abortion services, or the refusal of a private hospital to permit abortion care in accordance with a standard policy, may not be a basis for civil liability, disciplinary action, or other recriminatory action.

In addition, no health-care facility, defined as "any public or private organization, corporation, authority, partnership, sole proprietorship, association, agency, network, joint venture, or other entity that is involved in providing health care services, including a hospital, clinic, medical center, ambulatory surgical center, private physician's office, pharmacy, nursing home, university hospital, medical school, nursing school, medical training facility, inpatient health care facility, or other place where health care services are provided," is required to admit any patient or allow the use of the facility for the purpose of participating in abortion services.  No employee of a health-care facility who refuses or states an intention to refuse to participate in abortion services on moral or religious grounds shall be disciplined for such refusal.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected?  No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  Yes.  A person may be required to participate in abortion services or aftercare if necessary to protect the life of the patient.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for abortion services?  No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause?  No.

Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 63, § 1-741 (Enacted 1978); Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 63, § 1-728ba-f (Enacted 2010).

Bookmark and Share

©2016 NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation   Copyright Information