This Oklahoma Bill Would Require Women To Get Permission For Abortions

Just a few weeks ago, millions of women marched down streets in DC, New York, Austin, and other cities worldwide shouting "My body, my choice!" and "Get your hands off my reproductive rights!" A new bill proposed in Oklahoma — where thousands of people showed up to the Women's March on Oklahoma City — proves how necessary rallies like this still are. If the bill passes, it would require women in Oklahoma to get written permission for an abortion from the men who got them pregnant. Not only does this throw us back to the stone ages, it also violates the constitution. The Supreme Court has ruled multiple earlier bills that would require women to get permission before an abortion unconstitutional, one in 1976 and another in 1992. Yet, bills like this one continue to pop up and it's shocking to no one when they're written by men. House Bill 1441 was proposed by Oklahoma representative Justin Humphrey. The bill allows only three instances for which women would not need permission from the "father of the fetus" to access an abortion. If the father has died, a woman would clearly not need to provide his written consent, since he couldn't actually give it, but she would have to prove his death with a notarized affidavit. Survivors of rape or incest who are pregnant as a result of abuse would not be required to get permission and neither would women whose pregnancies are life-threatening as determined by their doctors. Otherwise, this Oklahoma bill would completely rip away a woman's ability to make this tough decision for herself, her body, and her future. "Oklahoma is legislating reproductive coercion when it should be outlawing it and protecting teens and women," Mercedes Sanchez, director of communications and education at Cedar River Clinics, told SELF. And, sadly, this isn't the only abortion bill currently being proposed in Oklahoma, according to Senator Joesph Silk (another man, of course) wrote two other bills that would limit reproductive freedom. SB 817 would deem all abortions in the state as first-degree murder, meaning the doctors who perform them could be arrested. And SB 755 would require women who get abortions in the state to file a death certificate with the state registrar. We have many words for men like Humphrey and Silk, but will just say this: Get your hands off our reproductive rights.

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