Protecting the Right to Contraception for Families in Oklahoma
9-in-10 Oklahoma families rely on contraception to plan their families in their lifetime.
Unfortunately, 195 House Republicans, including all five representatives from Oklahoma, voted against the Right to Contraception Act, a simple bill protecting the right to basic contraception like the pill, IUDs, and condoms. And Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the Supreme Court should consider overturning the ruling that has ensured Americans can access contraception for the past 60 years.
That’s why the Oklahoma House of Representatives unanimously passed Senate Bill 368. The bill’s straightforward and plain language makes it clear that the government can not infringe on Oklahomans’ right to basic contraception.
“Being pro-family also means allowing Oklahomans the freedom to plan when to start or grow their family. When people have access to contraception, they can pursue their goals and build healthy families. It’s a right we all deserve.” —Sen. Jessica Garvin, R-Duncan
But due to Governor Stitt’s refusal to sign the bill despite bipartisan support, Oklahomans’ right to birth control remains in jeopardy.
Now, Oklahomans from both sides of the political spectrum are joining together to ask our Governor to show compassion to families across our state and protect our right to birth control before it’s too late.
The Right to Contraception Is Under Attack
The right to contraception has been a freedom Americans have enjoyed for generations. Nearly all adults will use contraception at some point in their life, and it’s become a necessary and popular part of everyday family life.
Despite this reality, extreme politicians and a few activist judges have begun introducing bills and rulings targeted at basic contraception. Legislation has been introduced at the federal level and in 10 states to take basic contraception away, and activist judges have specifically targeted the right to contraception as a new legal battleground post-Roe.
Unfortunately, Oklahomans need look no farther than their own leadership for proof of the threat. Despite overwhelming bipartisan support for contraception protection, 195 House Republicans, including all five representatives from Oklahoma, voted against the Right to Contraception Act in 2022. And when our elected leaders took action to protect our rights at the state level, Governor Stitt refused to sign the protections into law.
What’s In the Bill?
On February 6, 2023, Oklahoma Senators Jessica Garvin and Toni Hasenbeck, both republicans, introduced Senate Bill 368.
Unlike a lot of complicated bills, this one is simple and focuses on what we agree on.
The bill is focused only on contraception, and guarantees a right no one ever thought we'd need to defend. This is basic healthcare that most Oklahoma families use and many women use for health reasons not related to pregnancy prevention.
The bill’s plain language guarantees every Oklahoman’s right to basic contraception that prevents pregnancy and prenatal care that reduces the chance of complications in pregnancy. This common-sense guarantee protects the freedoms Oklahomans have enjoyed for generations—including access to birth control pills, condoms, screenings, ultrasounds. Importantly, this bill does not give the right to abortion.
Why Oklahoma Families Need Their Right to Birth Control Protected
For most families, birth control has become an essential part of building a family. It allows parents to wait to have children until they are ready—emotionally and financially. It means military families can plan pregnancies around deployments. Contraception ensures more children are raised by married parents who bring them into the world at a time when they can provide the most nurturing care.
All around, access to contraception empowers individuals and couples to plan and space their pregnancies, leading to healthier families, improved economic stability, and enhanced overall quality of life.
“There is no question about it – access to contraception greatly reduces unintended pregnancies, boosts workforce participation, and keeps people out of state-funded support programs.” — State Senator Brenda Stanley (R).
Enhancing Family Planning and Stability:
The right to contraception enables individuals and couples to plan their families in a manner that aligns with their personal circumstances and aspirations. By providing the means to prevent unintended pregnancies, contraception offers individuals the opportunity to embark on parenthood when they feel emotionally, financially, and socially ready. Parents’ right to choose how to plan and space pregnancies fosters family stability, allowing parents to provide the necessary care, resources, and support to their children, promoting healthier family dynamics and nurturing environments.
Promoting Economic Security:
Contraception plays a pivotal role in promoting economic security within families. By allowing individuals to control the timing and frequency of pregnancies, contraception empowers couples to make informed decisions about their financial future. It enables them to pursue education, enter the workforce, and engage in career advancement, all of which contribute to economic stability and improved living standards.
Supporting Military Families:
Access to birth control is particularly important for military families, as it allows service members and their partners to plan their families around military deployments, training, and other commitments—allowing them to maximize time with their new baby. It offers flexibility and stability for military personnel, ensuring that they can fulfill their duty to our nation while also addressing their family planning needs.
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