While Oklahoma enforces trigger laws surrounding abortion, a local agency is bracing for the influx of people needing services.
Before the reversal of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court and the state’s abortion trigger laws that went into effect, the Latino community had been impacted by barriers to access health care struggling with language barriers, poverty and those who live in rural areas.
Community leaders said these barriers will become more apparent as abortion care was returned to individual states.
“Why would politicians get involved in the business of a family?” Latino Community Development Agency president Dr. Raul Font said. “It is personal, it deals with morals and values. It should be hands off.”
As Oklahoma enforces two abortion laws following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Dr. Font said they are ready to serve anyone who needs help.
“The Latino Community Development Agency, regardless of what happens nationally or politically, we are here to serve the community,” Dr. Font said. “That is goal and our mission, to enhance the quality of life of Latinos.”
The LCDA has 26 programs for people in need of health care or financial assistance.
“We have a program with Blue Cross Blue Shield, ‘The Caring Van,’” Dr. Font said. “They come in here periodically and make sure all the kids have their shots. They are looked at by physicians with our pediatric clinic here, and they are served with money or without money, with papers or without papers.”
The LCDA also helps women in need of medical care.
“We have ‘La Clinica de La Mujer,’ so that is specifically for women,” Dr. Font said. “They are going to be with physicians doing pro bono work from hospitals.”
The Tony Reyes Bilingual Center helps develop kids who were just born to five years old.
“We help parents culturally and cognitively develop their kids, so they go back to school,” said Dr. Font.
Agency officials said it is also looking into expanding resources for foster care and economic development.
“It’s time for us to maybe expand and look at these people of color, look at these organizations and try and see if we can help them,” Dr. Font said. “This community is not going anywhere. It is going to affect the economic development of our state and our cities so why don’t we just help them.”