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Texas abortion groups express praise, disappointment for new Oklahoma abortion ban

Waco Planned Parenthood
Posted at 10:17 PM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 23:17:05-04

WACO, Texas — As many Texas women are turning to neighboring states to receive abortion services, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a near-total ban on performing abortions this week.

The Oklahoma law, which is set to take effect later this year, would make performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to $100,000 and ten years in prison. It does not penalize a woman receiving an abortion.

The move is drawing strong reactions from both pro-life and pro-choice advocates in Central Texas.

"This is a horrid violence that happens with abortions, and so we want that violence to be curtailed very substantially," said Pro-Life Waco director John Pisciotta.

"I mean, this is just another obstacle for women," said reproductive rights lead for Indivisible TX Lege, Cheryl Foster. "It's really gonna hurt women in North Texas and East Texas--and even Central Texas, they were traveling that far north."

In September, Texas' Senate Bill 8 abortion law went into effect, banning abortion after the cardiac activity is detected in a fetus. It also leaves enforcement up to private citizens.

Since then, those seeking abortion services have traveled across state lines, including to Oklahoma. Pro-life activists are calling the new Oklahoma law a step towards successfully minimizing the number of abortions performed.

"I hope the Supreme Court will decide that they never should've gotten involved in this federally in the first place and let the states make their choices," Pisciotta said.

Pro-choice advocates have expressed concern that limiting other options will only encourage unsafe abortion practices.

"Women with resources will find a way to do it. Women without resources will also find a way to do it, it just won't be safe," Foster said.

Planned Parenthood released data collected from September to December of 2021, showing more than half of all abortion services at its clinics have been provided to those with Texas zip codes. Texans made up just 10 percent of abortion patients in Oklahoma during that same time in 2020.

Oklahoma's law is expected to face legal challenges, much like S.B. 8. Several other states, including Kentucky, Mississippi, and Florida have also passed abortion-restricting legislation in recent days.