Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

November-01-13

Oklahoma Tightens Laws to Deny Teenagers Abortion Rights

Starting today, girls in Oklahoma under the age of 18 will be forced to abide by stricter parental consent laws in order to obtain an abortion.

The Oklahoma Board of Health voted in early October to update the state's previous parental notification laws. The laws will now require girls seeking abortions to have their parents provide government-issued identification and written documentation that proves he or she is the parent, has been notified, and consents to the procedure. The board voted to require that in cases of emergency, a doctor can go ahead and perform an abortion, but the parents must be notified afterwards by mail.

Minors may receive a judicial waiver of the parental notification requirement only under three circumstances: if there is a medical emergency, if the minor is a victim of abuse or neglect, or if a judge finds by clear and convincing evidence that the minor is sufficiently mature and well-informed to decide whether to have an abortion. These circumstances are open to interpretation, and they can put vulnerable teens in danger.

Earlier this month, a 16-year-old girl in Nebraska's foster care system was denied an abortion when a lower court judge - who had previously been an attorney for anti-abortion extremist group Operation Rescue - found that the girl was not mature and informed enough to make the decision to have an abortion, despite strong evidence to the contrary. She will be forced to carry her pregnancy to term.

"Quite ironically, the legislature seems to be saying that an immature teen cannot have an abortion but can become a parent," Martha Skeeters, president of the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, told RH Reality Check.

Media Resources: The Oklahoman 10/9/13; Open States; Feminist Newswire 10/7/13; RH Reality Check 10/18/13


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost. The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
 
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot. SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy." "We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event. SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
 
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1. The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .