Oklahoma Heartbeat Bill Goes Into Effect After Supreme Court Leak

Tuesday, May 3rd 2022, 5:00 pm


A Supreme Court draft opinion was leaked to Politico, and it shows the majority of Justices are set to overturn the 1973 decision on Roe V. Wade.  

If that happens abortion laws would be determined on a state-by-state basis; abortions would immediately become illegal in Oklahoma. The procedure would only be allowed if the mother's life is on the line. 

Providers told News 9 if that's the case today, many hospitals turn to clinics. 

"It was deeply heartbreaking to hear this news while at the same time now surprising. This is news we've been anticipating for some time," said Trust Women Clinic's Advocacy Director, Myfy Jensen-Fellows. 

Trust Women Clinics has prepared for the half a century long ruling on roe V. Wade to be overturned. 

"Roe is the floor not the ceiling. We have already been living through incredibly difficult times for abortion access in large portions of the country," explained Jensen-Fellows. Planned Parenthood Great Plains Interim President and CEO, Emily Wales added, "rather than going to court and feeling confident, we know that the courts are not the back stop.” 

Planned Parenthood Great Plains has trigger laws in three of the four states they serve. Jensen-Fellows with Trust Women said the right to choose is still under attack by several Oklahoma lawmakers, with Oklahoma's heartbeat signed into law by Governor Stitt's Tuesday. 

"This would be a much more immediate, severe restriction on abortion access, so we are contending with that reality first and foremost," said Jensen-Fellows. 

In many of the restrictive bills that moved through the state Capitol, and the new laws signed this week, abortion is only allowed to save the mother's life. Right now, in those cases, many hospitals turn to providers for help. 

"It is a regular occurrence." Jensen-Fellows added, "in certain states, abortion care is not a part of medical school's curriculum and there are also other places where they are an opt-in area of focus." Planned Parenthood's Dr. Iman Alsaden continued, "many hospitals have in their charters, you cannot perform an abortion in our hospital. There are going to be major issues with the number of doctors we will have that can perform abortions or even do follow-up care." 

The draft ruling on Roe V. Wade also has providers concerned contraception like the morning after pill which may be next. 

"That had a carve out for Plan B but what we know is this is the beginning of a series of attacks on our most personal decision-making processes." 

Oklahoma's copy of the Texas heartbeat ban goes into effect immediately.