If you live Oklahoma you may start seeing anti-abortion signs in public restrooms.
Oklahoma plans to require hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and public schools to post signs inside public restrooms directing pregnant women where to receive services, as part of an effort to reduce abortions in the state.
The provision for the signs was tucked into a law the legislature passed this year that requires the state to develop informational material “for the purpose of achieving an abortion-free society.”
The State Board of Health this week began considering implementation of regulations for the signs. And businesses and other organizations will apparently have to foot the bill, estimated at $2.3 million, because the legislature didn’t appropriate any money for them.
Under the law, the signs would state, “There are many public and private agencies willing and able to help you carry your child to term and assist you and your child after your child is born, whether you choose to keep your child or to place him or her for adoption. The state of Oklahoma strongly urges you to contact them if you are pregnant.”
The signs would also include a link to the Health Department’s website.
We spoke to residents in Lawton about their thoughts on the new signs.
“I believe it’s a great opportunity to give the females an option to make the right decision,” said Angie Thompson. “Because usually in that situation, you’re in a crisis mode and you usually take the most quickest way out. But a lot of times the women don’t stop and think about it. It gives the women outlets and information and options.”
But other residents like Bessie Hornbeck, who said she is pro-life, say they don’t understand how the signs will make a difference.
“I think our laws are getting completely out of hand on forcing everybody to do what they want them to do,” said Hornbeck. “Abortion is a decision each person has to make. But what’s good in making businesses put up up signs in there bathrooms.”
“But these same people that are doing this are complaining about mothers on welfare, mothers getting food stamps.”
And Jim Hopper, the president of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association, said it’s going to cost each restaurant around $100 even small businesses struggling to stay afloat.
“It’s an unfunded mandate on small business,” said Hopper. “As far as the restaurant business is concerned, it’s not necessary.”
The Oklahoma Hospital Association projected it would cost at least $225,000 for signage at the state’s 140 licensed hospitals.
The signs must be posted by January 2018.
Also this week, the Oklahoma Supreme Court threw out a law requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges.
The court said the law violates the U.S. Constitution by creating an undue burden on a woman’s access to abortion. The court also said the law violates the Oklahoma Constitution by including more than one subject in the measure.
The ruling overturns a lower court’s decision in February that upheld the law.