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Oklahoma advocates rally for abortion rights 2 years after the fall of Roe v. Wade

Demonstrators hold signs and wave flags during the 2024 OKC Women’s Strike at the Oklahoma Capitol.
Jillian Taylor
StateImpact Oklahoma
Demonstrators hold signs and wave flags during the 2024 OKC Women’s Strike at the Oklahoma Capitol.

Two years ago, Roe v. Wade was overturned, triggering a near-total abortion ban in Oklahoma. Oklahomans and advocacy groups from bordering states gathered outside the state capitol Monday to rally against these restrictions.

In tandem with strikes held across the country, advocates at the OKC Women’s Strike commemorated what they said is the somber anniversary of the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling.

“This is not the will of the people. But the fight today is bigger than Roe. It's bigger than Dobbs,” said Rachel Carmona, the executive director of Women's March.

Carmona said she and other advocates have continued fighting against threats to reproductive rights, like a Supreme Court case from Texas against the abortion-inducing drug mifepristone. The court ruled this month that the case’s plaintiffs lack the legal right to sue the FDA based on its approval of the drug and decisions to ease access to it.

Oklahoma considered legislation this session that would make it a felony for non-medical professionals to deliver abortion-inducing drugs. House Bill 3013 died in the opposite chamber.

“Local and state legislatures, including here in Oklahoma that has some of the most restrictive bans and some of the highest maternal mortality in our communities of color – and those are not unrelated – (they) need to govern and protect and care for the people and not strip our rights away,” Carmona said.

Lindsay London, a co-founder of the Amarillo Reproductive Freedom Alliance, also spoke at the rally. Her group in Texas was founded in opposition to a city ordinance that, if approved, would create a local abortion travel ban.

She said she felt inspired and grateful to connect with Oklahomans through the strike.

“It's been fantastic to know that, in these red states, there's such powerful communities that are coming together to support one another and stand up against, whether it be just an abortion ban, a travel ban, just fascism overall, that's trying to limit the rights to determine our own futures,” London said.

She and other advocates encouraged attendees to continue organizing against further restrictions.

“There's a role for everyone in these fights, whether you have direct experience being a community organizer, or you can share information online or even just have a difficult conversation with your own circle of influence about abortion, the more we can normalize and de-stigmatize those conversations, the more successful we will be,” London said.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Jillian Taylor reports on health and related topics for StateImpact Oklahoma.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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