For Immediate Release: March 27, 2020
Today Oklahoma joined a growing list of states moving to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic in order to push an anti-choice agenda and roll back access to abortion, prioritizing an extreme ideological agenda over medical expertise and science. Governor Kevin Stitt released a statement this morning clarifying that the executive order issued on Tuesday halting all “elective” medical procedures also extends to abortion care. Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said:
“The radical right has been working for decades to end the legal right to abortion—no matter the cost—and now they are using COVID-19 to achieve that goal, drawing crucial resources away from a national pandemic to move their own ideological agenda forward.
“As we face this national emergency, we must centralize sound science and medical experts in guiding decision making and not allow the individuals driven by ideology to craft policy to meet their beliefs over public welfare.
“The medical community is clear and unified: Abortion care is time-sensitive and essential healthcare. They should be allowed to continue their work based on medicine and not arbitrary policy. The health and well-being of all Americans are at risk. Allowing ideology to trump science in this moment imperils everyone and sets a terrifying precedent as we face this national crisis.”
Oklahoma already has some of the most severe restrictions on abortion in the United States, including interrogating women about why they’re ending a pregnancy, forcing delays before a woman can receive abortion care, and subjecting women to mandatory biased counseling.
Earlier this month, the state senate passed SB 1859, which would ban abortion before many women even know they’re pregnant and would force women to undergo a mandatory ultrasound prior to an abortion.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked 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. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. 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.”