Stitt Says Executive Order to Delay Medical Procedures Includes Abortion

Mar 27, 2020

Any type of abortion not necessary to save a woman’s life or health must be delayed until April 7 in Oklahoma.

Gov. Kevin Stitt said Friday they are included in his order to postpone some medical procedures in an attempt to save protective equipment for health care providers.

Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice board member Gabriela Cano said Stitt's clarification is too broad.

"These medical procedures are done more in clinics than in hospitals, and he did not specify what that would look like to — what type of procedure would be banned," Cano said.

As it’s written, Stitt’s order covers medication abortions, not just surgical ones.

Abortion is illegal in Oklahoma after 24 weeks of pregnancy except the procedure is necessary to prevent serious injury or death.

"So, right now there are folks who maybe only have maybe a week or just a few days to get this procedure. So, with COVID-19, it’s already a huge health crisis, and now that’s just adding another health crisis on top of that," Cano said.

Stitt's office did not respond to questions Friday about whether his order covers medication abortion and whether patients would have any recourse if the procedure was delayed until it is no longer legal.

OCRJ has published a resource guide patients can use while Stitt's order is in effect.