OKC Women’s Clinic Sees Increase In Texas Patients As Abortion Ban Takes Effect


Thursday, September 2nd 2021, 4:12 pm
By: Augusta McDonnell


OKLAHOMA CITY -

An Oklahoma City women’s health clinic reports seeing an increase in patients from Texas as a new law takes effect. The new law effectively bans abortion care in the state. 

Trust Women said in a statement that before the ban on abortion went into effect in Texas, they were having patients from the state calling and making appointments in Oklahoma and Kansas. 

The group said their clinics in Oklahoma City and Wichita, Kansas, are welcoming Texas patients and coordinating funding to accommodate the increase. 

“Our clinics remain open and ready to provide quality, compassionate abortion care to everyone who needs it, regardless of ability to pay,” they said. 

Planned Parenthood administrators are planning for an increase in Texas patients as well. 

“We knew that this law was going to pose a real and direct threat to patients that needed abortion services in Texas, and as a provider in a neighboring state, we’ve been doing what we can to prepare for patients who are having to travel farther, get childcare for longer,” said Planned Parenthood Great Plains Interim CEO Emily Wales. 

This comes as the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block a new Texas law that is the most restrictive abortion law in the country, effectively banning the procedure. The law bans abortions after six weeks.

In Oklahoma, several bills will go into effect on Nov. 1 that limit access to abortion care. 

House Bill 2441 is one of them and has similar language to the Texas law. It bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which happens at about six weeks. 

This seems to contradict the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision which guaranteed the right to an abortion until fetal viability, which is about 22 to 24 weeks. 

Women’s health care advocates are expected to contest these news laws in court.

One group, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit Thursday contenting five bills that passed in the 2021 Oklahoma legislative session. Planned Parenthood Great Plains is one of the plaintiffs. 

In Oklahoma, there are already some laws on the books regulating access to abortion care. 

One of them is a 72-hour window that a patient has to wait from the time they make their appointment to when the procedure is actually performed.