Oklahoma was one of 13 states with an abortion trigger law. Those laws took effect the moment the Supreme Court handed down their decision on Roe v. Wade.
Abortion providers in the metro tell News 9 that while the decision was expected, it's no less devastating.
Planned Parenthood Great Plains and Trust Women Clinics voiced the same sentiment following the appeal of the nearly 50-year-old decision. They also said a Kansas election in August could force Oklahoma women to travel even further for reproductive care.
“I am a woman. I am not equal before the law in the way that I was yesterday," said President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, Emily Wales.
Oklahoma joins Missouri, Texas and ten other states with trigger laws that took effect Friday. Some will be applicable immediately while others have a 30-day waiting period. 13 more states are looking to create similar legislation.
"Despite anticipating this moment, it is hard to express that I don't have an explanation of how you take 49 years of precedent of an established constitutional right, and you roll back individual freedoms in the way that the courts did today," said Wales.
"Today is the day where I'm no longer able to care for people in the way that my medical training taught me to," said Planned Parenthood's Medical Director Dr. Iman Alsaden.
Physicians at the Trust Women clinics don’t live in Oklahoma. They travel on scheduled days. The trigger law allows for abortion when the pregnant person’s life is at risk, but with the procedure now illegal, it is unclear who would perform the abortion.
"We know because of the siloing of abortion care from the rest of the medical community that there aren't trained practitioners in hospitals,” said Trust Women Clinics Communication Director, Zack Gingrich-Gaylord. "In Oklahoma there's one OBGYN for every 19,000 women. That number will get worse. Doctors will not want to take on the risk."
In August, Kansas will vote on a ballot question to keep abortion access protected. The state has seen a major increase in Oklahoma and Texas women seeking healthcare.
"The challenge we have right now in Kansas is that we don't have enough providers to serve Kansans as it is. There are only four places in the state of Kansas where you can get an abortion right now," said Wales.
Both Planned Parenthood and Trust Women will keep doors open to provide information and any care that they can while they work to make abortion legal again in the state.
"So as sad as it is today and it is devastating to be in this position, we are not shocked, and we are going to organize and fight back," said Wales.
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