How Overturning Roe v. Wade Will Impact Women’s Health In Oklahoma

Friday, June 24th 2022, 6:55 pm


The Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade Friday nearly 50 years after it became the law of the land. The court voted five-to-four to return the issue of abortion to the states.

Some officials consider abortion as healthcare. They said the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade will only make Oklahoma women suffer.

“We already have a difficult time when it comes to women having access to reproductive healthcare," State Rep. Cyndi Munson (D) said.

Rep. Munson said it's going to be a dangerous and difficult time for women to get adequate healthcare in Oklahoma.

Related: Performing Abortions Are Now A Criminal Offense In Oklahoma

Roe v. Wade’s reversal bans all abortions in Oklahoma, except those to save the mother's life.

Munson said this is just adding to fuel to the fire.

“We have really poor infant mortality care here in Oklahoma,” Munson said. “We have one of the highest rates of infant deaths in Oklahoma. When it comes to OBGYNs and the ratio of women, we're one of the lowest states in the country. We don't have access to women's healthcare, especially in rural Oklahoma.”  

Maternal mortality rates for Black and Hispanic women are around three times higher than white women, according to an Oklahoma State Department of Health report.

"Statewide state bans on abortion will worsen structural racism and disproportionately low income and rural communities," Planned Parenthood Great Plains president and chief executive officer Emily Wales said.

Access to maternal healthcare is also limited across the state. Only 28 counties have a hospital suitable for childbirth.

Planned Parenthood health experts said what women need is more legislation to have a successful pregnancy.

"Pregnancy is 15 times more dangerous than abortion. There are many complications that happen with pregnancy and many life-threatening things that can happen in pregnancy,” Planned Parenthood Great Plains medical director Dr. Iman Alsaden said.

Like many nonprofits, Planned Parenthood plans to continue to stay open and provide sexual and reproductive care to Oklahomans.

Local health groups said they will still provide resources to mothers such as access to prenatal care and information on different contraceptive options.