Oklahoma Opened Its First New Abortion Clinic in More Than 40 Years
For the first time in over 40 years, Oklahoma City has opened a new women's health center — one that will provide women with access to safe, and legal, abortions.
According to the Associated Press, the Trust Women Foundation — a Kansas-based organization dedicated to protecting women's reproductive rights, especially within underserved communities — opened the South Wind Women's Center earlier this month. A representative from Trust Women told the AP that prior to the launch of the South Wind clinic, Oklahoma City was the country's largest metropolitan area without an abortion provider (the only other providers were in Tulsa and Norman). The last facility to offer such services opened in 1974.
The new Oklahoma City clinic will provide patients with various family planning services, including OB-GYN care, emergency contraception, adoption, transgender health care, and abortion. Trust Women expects to serve between 1,500 and 2,000 patients within its first year of operation.
“We look forward to providing high-quality reproductive health care to the women of Oklahoma City, who deserve the same access as people who live in less conservative areas of the country," Julie A. Burkhart, the founder and CEO of Trust Women and Trust Women South Wind Women’s Center told Glamour. "Oklahoma City was the largest city in the country without an abortion provider, and we are proud to change that fact."
The opening of the South Wind Women's Center comes at a time when women's reproductive rights are under ongoing attack, and Oklahoma has emerged as one of the most ardently anti-abortion states in the country. The state legislature has passed nearly half a dozen measures to effectively prohibit abortion, including banning some procedures, requiring mandatory waiting periods before a doctor can performing an abortion, and ordering providers to have full admitting privileges at local hospitals (several of these restrictions have pending lawsuits challenging their legality).
Earlier this year, Oklahoma lawmakers passed a piece of legislation that would have charged any physician who performed an abortion with a felony, a measure that would have functionally outlawed the procedure. The bill was ultimately vetoed by Governor Mary Fallin, but is unlikely to curb the Republican-led legislature's attempts to restrict women's reproductive rights. And with Republican nominee Donald Trump doubling down on his anti-abortion stance (his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton has repeatedly called for the protection and expansion of women's reproductive rights), it's likely that the ongoing struggle for women to make their own health care choices will continue not only at the state level, but at the national one as well — especially as the November general election draws closer.
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• This Is Why 2 Irish Women Live-Tweeted Their Trip to the U.K. for an Abortion
• This Must-See Documentary Offers a Raw, Unfiltered View of Abortion From All Sides
• Why the Lawyer Behind This Year's Massive Supreme Court Victory for Abortion Rights Isn't Done Fighting
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