FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2022
Contact: Kelly Novak, [email protected]

NEW YORK – The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) strongly condemned Oklahoma’s shocking abortion ban, passed abruptly late in the day yesterday. The bill bans the vast majority of abortions and turns providing abortion care into a criminal act, punishable by up to 10 years of incarceration and a $100,000 fine.

“This law is cruel, severely harmful, and represents a deep departure from what the large majority of the people across this country want,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. “People deserve access to abortion care in their own community, on their own terms, without fear of shame, stigma, or punishment. Full stop.

Further, punishing abortion providers is outrageous,” Miller continued. “Abortion providers help foster healthy communities, and they should be lauded, not criminalized. Our hearts are with the people and providers of Oklahoma who will endure the harm of this horrendous law, and with those from outside of Oklahoma who were counting on Oklahoma for abortion access.”

This abortion ban comes at an already extremely difficult time for those trying to access abortion, as Oklahoma abortion providers have been fielding an enormous influx of people traveling from Texas to access care, and the fall of Roe v. Wade is looming from the Supreme Court this summer.

Since Texas’s SB8 went into effect, effectively outlawing abortion care in Texas, Oklahoma has been a destination for Texans seeking abortion care outside the state. The Oklahoma abortion ban comes on the heels of abortion bans in Idaho and Arizona. In contrast, Colorado made abortion access news this week when Governor Polis signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act into law, codifying the right to abortion into state law. Oregon similarly took action recently to protect abortion care for state residents and all who travel there for care by investing in a $15 million reproductive health fund to improve abortion care infrastructure across the state.

“As we see from recent actions, states are moving in wildly different directions, with some banning abortion care and others protecting access. With the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision expected to exacerbate this trend, the need for state action to expand access for as many people as possible has never been clearer,” Miller concluded.

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The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) is an advocacy group that works directly with state and local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations and allied groups to protect and advance access to reproductive healthcare. For more than 40 years, NIRH has been partnering with communities to build coalitions, launch campaigns, and successfully advocate for policy change. NIRH’s strategy is to go on the offensive and focus on communities where change is needed, so the fabric of reproductive freedom becomes harder to tear apart.