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Five abortion bills sailed through committees, but one could have an impact on Oklahoma schools

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Five bills snagged headlines after they sailed through committee before the winter storm hit and closed the legislature for two days.

Those include a Texas-style abortion bill — Senate Bill 1503 — in the senate that would make abortion illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected or a pregnant person’s life is in danger.

One bill that didn’t get as much attention passed through the Senate Education Committee Tuesday. Senate Bill 1544 would keep organizations that provide abortions from conducting any programming in a school.

The measure appears targeted at groups like Planned Parenthood, which provide abortion access but also other educational programs promoting sexual health and wellness.

That measure sailed through committee Tuesday, with only two Democrats voting against it. The bill was co-authored by Republican Senator Roland Pederson and now can be heard by the full senate.

Planned Parenthood of Oklahoma issued a news release this month, announcing it opened a new care facility in Edmond. That facility won’t offer abortions, the release states, but that influx of patients from Texas has heightened demand for services overall, and the new care center will ensure access to other critical care, such as STI testing, gender-affirming services and emergency contraception.

Other measures that passed through committees include:

  • SB 1553, co-sponsored by Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat and House Speaker Charles McCall, which says a pregnant person can’t have an abortion after 30 days following conception.

  • SB 1555, also co-sponsored by Treat and McCall, which tweaks Oklahoma's trigger law, so that if Roe v. Wade is overturned abortions will become illegal in the state.

  • Senate Joint Resolution 37, would allow for a vote of the people to ensure Oklahoma’s Supreme Court doesn’t read into the state Constitution that there is an inherent right to an abortion.
Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
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