ACLU of Oklahoma Statement on Governor Stitt’s Announcement to Suspend Abortion Care Amid COVID-19 Concerns

Affiliate: ACLU of Oklahoma
March 27, 2020 7:00 pm

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ACLU of Oklahoma
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OKLAHOMA CITY — In response to Governor Stitt’s announcement to suspend abortions for Oklahomans because he considers them “elective procedures”, despite being, an essential and constitutionally legal health care practice, the ACLU of Oklahoma issued the following response:

The following is attributable to Nicole McAfee, Director of Policy and Advocacy:

“Abortion is essential health care. A state-mandated delay of this time-sensitive service can increase the health risks and potentially make it completely inaccessible because of Oklahoma’s numerous statutory restrictions. The consequences of being unable to obtain an abortion profoundly impact a person’s life, health, and well-being.

We are in an unprecedented time of crisis and any government restrictions on liberty, including abortion care, must be medically justified and the least restrictive available to protect the public health. The Governor’s proposal to include abortion in restricted medical care is much more likely to push people into desperate situations and lead to otherwise unnecessary emergency health crises than it is to provide relief.

The government should not use this pandemic as an excuse to target abortion access, especially since doing so right now is counterproductive to evidence-based practices. Protecting reproductive health care is always essential to better public health outcomes in general, but it’s especially important at this moment that we guarantee access to constitutionally protected health care.”

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