National Partnership for Women & Families

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Okla. gov. signs antiabortion-rights bill

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) on Monday signed into law a bill (HB 2797) that mandates public schools promote an antiabortion-rights agenda, KFOR-TV reports.

The law is scheduled to take effect Nov. 1. However, state Rep. Ann Coody (R), the law's sponsor, said the law will be implemented only if it receives funding in the future (Querry, KFOR-TV, 6/7).

Law details

The law will authorize antiabortion-rights speech funded by the state.

It also will create a fund for antiabortion-rights education. The bill will authorize the state to pay antiabortion-rights groups to provide classroom instruction and develop curricular materials. The funding cannot be used for materials that support abortion rights (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/20).

The state Senate in approving the law removed a provision that would have required public schools in the state to instruct students that life begins at conception. However, according to KFOR-TV, the law mandates that materials distributed to the public convey the antiabortion-rights claim that abortion ends a life.

In addition, the law requires the distribution of prenatal care information while barring any "program or state employee [from referring] any student to a medical facility or any provider for ... an abortion." It also prohibits curriculum materials from including any "component of human sexuality education other than those included in science education standards" (KFOR-TV, 6/7).