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Listen to KOSU's Twitter Spaces conversation on Reproductive Care in Oklahoma

(From left to right) StateImpact Oklahoma's Catherine Sweeney, University of Tulsa Professor Aila Hoss, KOSU's Allison Herrera

KOSU hosted a Twitter Spaces earlier this week to talk about reproductive care in Oklahoma in light of the new laws signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Indigenous Affairs reporter Allison Herrera spoke with StateImpact Oklahoma's Catherine Sweeney and University of Tulsa Professor Aila Hoss to talk about what the new laws are, when they take effect and how the McGirt v. Oklahoma decision could possibly affect them.

You can listen to the full conversation by clicking the play button above. Below, read some highlights from the conversation.

Sweeney on new abortion laws and what they mean

"Anybody who was found by a civil court to be supporting an abortion, performing one, they would be subject to $10,000 in damages to the person who sued them."

"Senate Bill 612 is the one that criminalizes abortion. It would make performing an abortion, not getting one, but performing one, a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison."

You can learn more about these bills and what this could mean here:

Hoss on how federal Indian law applies to reproductive care

"For listeners who aren't familiar, the federal government is obligated to provide health care in Indian Country based on treaties, statutes and the trust responsibility."

Hoss on how the Hyde Amendment applies to Indian Health Service and the availability of abortions

"Even within the context of these exceptions, performing abortions in facilities is incredibly rare. And there's a lot of inconsistencies in terms of the policies to allow for providing abortion care at these facilities at the local facility level."

Hoss on how and if the McGirt v. Oklahoma ruling could affect the availability of performing and getting an abortion care in light of the new laws

"This idea of a safe haven in Indian Country to provide abortion care is not going to happen without a lot of lawyering." 

Hoss on how the Assimilative Crimes Act would apply

"If we're looking at an Indian health care provider wanting to provide abortion care within the boundaries of the reservation, and even though the state would not be able to assert jurisdiction regardless of the status of the victim, some of those Crimes Act allows for essentially the assimilate we call the assimilation, the borrowing of a state statute in certain circumstances when there isn't a corresponding federal statute."

Below are some resources we've compiled. If you have one we should add, please email Kateleigh Mills at [email protected].

Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood has put out a statement following the Supreme Court opinion leak to reverse Roe v. Wade. In the statement, they address confusion about what the leak means and what to do if you are still needing abortion services. Oklahoma has three Planned Parenthood locations. You can find info about the centers here.

The Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative is a program of the George Kaiser Family Foundation that aims to reduce maternal health disparities among Black and Indigenous women, justice-involved women and teen mothers.

Matriarch promotes the social welfare of Native women through education, community building, and direct services to create positive change within our communities. Learn more here.

ACLU of Oklahoma
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma is a nonprofit, non-partisan, privately funded organization devoted exclusively to the defense and promotion of the individual rights secured by the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions. Learn more here.

The Native Alliance Against Violence
The Native Alliance Against Violence (NAAV), is a nonprofit organization operating as Oklahoma’s only tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalition. The NAAV is not a direct service provider, however we do serve Oklahoma’s federally recognized tribes and their tribal domestic violence and sexual assault programs. Learn more here.

Center for Reproductive Rights
The Center for Reproductive Rights is the only global legal advocacy organization dedicated exclusively to advancing and defending reproductive rights as human rights. Learn more here.

Guttmacher Institute
The Guttmacher Institute is a sexual and reproductive health research and policy organization. It provides summaries on state and federal abortion law. Learn more here.

Abortion Law Project: The Abortion Law Project created a comprehensive suite of datasets covering 15 different types of abortion regulations. Learn more here.

Allison Herrera and Kateleigh Mills produced this Twitter Spaces conversation as part of the America Amplified initiative, using community engagement to inform and strengthen local, regional and national journalism. America Amplified is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Kateleigh Mills was the Special Projects reporter for KOSU from 2019 to 2024.
Allison Herrera covered Indigenous Affairs for KOSU from April 2020 to November 2023.
Catherine Sweeney was StateImpact Oklahoma's health reporter from 2020 to 2023.
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