The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Anna Zuccaro, 

UltraViolet Calls "Oklahoma Heartbeat Act" Banning Abortion at 6 Weeks Terrifying

Women’s Group Warns "We Are Closer Than Ever to America Without Roe v. Wade."


Earlier today, Oklahoma lawmakers gave final approval to the "Oklahoma Heartbeat Act," Senate Bill 1503, legislation modeled after the Texas' controversial Senate Bill (SB) 8 law, which allows private citizens to take civil action against abortion providers.

The "Oklahoma Heartbeat Act" would also prohibit abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy -- or at the time a physician detects any early cardiac activity in an embryo or fetus. The measure provides few exceptions for medical emergencies.

Once signed by Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has pledged to sign every piece of legislation limiting abortion that reaches his desk, the "Oklahoma Heatbeat Act" would take effect immediately.

In response, Shaunna Thomas, Executive Director of UltraViolet, a national gender justice advocacy organization, issued the following statement:

"Reproductive healthcare is in crisis. In Texas, Mississippi, Idaho, Florida, and now Oklahoma, state lawmakers are criminalizing those who seek access to reproductive healthcare and anyone who provides it. We are imminently encroaching toward an era where Roe v. Wade is no longer federally enforceable. This should terrify everyone.

"Banning abortion as early as six weeks rips bodily autonomy away from people before most are even aware of being pregnant. Make no mistake, the "Oklahoma Heartbeat Act," is heartless. Empowering right-wing extremists to hunt down anyone who helps, or even intends to help, pregnant people exercise their basic bodily autonomy is an affront to everyone's fundamental rights.

"For decades, Republicans have pursued a strategy to control women's bodies. They are succeeding with a state-by-state strategy that puts abortion access out of reach for millions with burdensome laws and barriers. Republicans know that Black, Latino and Indigenous women, young people, disabled people, as well as those with low and no incomes, will suffer the most -- they just don't care.

"We strongly urge Governor Stitt not to sign this bill."

UltraViolet is a powerful and rapidly growing community of people mobilized to fight sexism and create a more inclusive world that accurately represents all women, from politics and government to media and pop culture.