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Oklahoma lawmakers consider ban on sharing abortion-inducing medicine

The Oklahoma State Capitol.
Whitney Bryen
/
Oklahoma Watch
The Oklahoma State Capitol.

Some Oklahoma lawmakers want to criminalize sharing abortion-inducing drugs.

Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader, R-Piedmont, introduced House Bill 3013 to the House Judiciary Criminal Committee Wednesday.

The bill would make the act of sharing prescribed abortion-inducing drugs a felony, punishable by a $100,000 fine and, or 10 years in prison.

The measure is among the latest in a string of proposals limiting abortion access in Oklahoma. From outright criminalization of the medical procedure to constitutional amendments granting unborn children equal rights protections, at least 54 abortion-related bills have been introduced by lawmakers between the 2023 and 2024 legislative sessions.

This is after the procedure was essentially outlawed in 2022 following the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Crosswhite Hader told committee members the measure would not criminalize doctors or pharmacists who fill prescriptions for such medications, or the women who are prescribed them.

“The concern is if someone else buys them and or procures them, however they do, and shares them with someone else, whether through selling or giving, with the intent to perform an abortion,” she said.

Rep. Jason Lowe, D-Oklahoma City, is the only Democrat on the committee and an active criminal defense attorney. He said the language in the bill is too vague.

“Based on the language of your bill, anyone can be charged,” Lowe said to Crosswhite Hader. “In this case, people who are not related to this particular act could be charged. I find that to be troublesome.”

Lowe also pointed out the measure doesn’t specify the need for proof that someone had the intent of enabling an abortion by sharing medicine.

The bill passed the committee with a 5-1 vote and can now be considered by the full House.

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Lionel Ramos covers state government for a consortium of Oklahoma’s public radio stations. He is a graduate of Texas State University in San Marcos with a degree in English. He has covered race and equity, unemployment, housing, and veterans' issues.
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