Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gearing up for the next session

Well, its that time again. Dig out your "Keep your laws off my body" button and your pink "Stand Up for Choice" t-shirt, the legislative session begins February 4th! Woo hoo! Once again, we are spreading the word that prevention will lower the abortion rate in Oklahoma not laws that punish women.

Let me first tell you of a few bills that are promising and you should stay on top of with your legislators:

1. Senator John Sparks was kind enough to support and author SB 1450, the Contraceptive Equity bill. Basically this bill would require insurance companies who cover pre-natal care, pregnancy and deliveries to also cover contraception. Be sure to thank Senator Sparks for helping to COVER OUR PILLS!

2. Senator Tom Adelson was sold on the idea comprehensive sex education in schools needs to be scientifically and medically accurate and has authored SB 1489. The abstinence until marriage programs are not working! The important thing to remember is Oklahoma currently ranks 8th in the country for teen births and 12th in the country for repeat teen births. This bill would do wonders for the teen pregnancy prevention in Oklahoma.

3. Senator Jim Wilson has picked up on the Patient Protection Act or SB 1493. This bill would require that pharmacies in Oklahoma, who refuse to fill a contraceptive prescription, to find other resources for the patient to get the prescription filled. Also requires signs to be posted in pharmacies stating this.

4. The Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies act HB 2457 and HB 3320 was picked up by Representative Jeannie McDaniel and Representative Al Lindley. This is requiring emergency contraception to be offered and given to victims of rape in emergency rooms. From what we heard, only three hospitals currently carry emergency contraception for victims of rape.

All of these were introduced last year but never made their way out of committee. All of these bills will directly impact unintended or unwanted pregnancies in our state which, in turn, reduce the number of abortions.

Please call your senators and representatives and ask them to support this important legislation. If you're pro-choice, pro-woman and pro-family, we need you to get involved.

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