The Oklahoma state senate just received two bills that would limit access to abortion and emergency contraceptives. One representative contends that the bill banning Plan B is a medical necessity, while another says it is “prejudiced against women.”
A House committee advanced a bill that would reinstitute a ban on the morning after pill without a prescription.
House sponsor David Derby (R-Owasso) said the law is necessary because teenagers "may not be capable of handling this medication or its aftereffects."
"We need to have an adult involved in the decision," Derby said.
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Think Progress reports that Oklahoma already attempted to restrict access to Plan B. Just a month after the drug was approved over the counter last year, Republican Gov. Gov. Mary Fallin signed a measure requiring girls under the age of 17 to show a prescription and ID to obtain it. A district court struck that down since it violated the “single-subject rule,” tacked on to an unrelated bill.
Another Republican, Rep. Doug Cox, who is a physician, doesn’t buy the medical argument.
"Probably more people are allergic to latex condoms than have a reaction to Plan B," he said.
"This bill is prejudiced," Cox said. "It's prejudiced against women. A 14-year-old boy can go to the truck stop and buy all the condoms he wants. He can control his destiny. This bill takes the ability to control their destiny away from women. But that's what we do in the Republican Party these days."
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Cox also noted the high teen pregnancy rate in Oklahoma, second in the nation with more than 2,000 girls 17 or younger giving birth in 2010.
"I wish all those young women — and the youngest, by the way, was 10 — had an adult to go to," he said.
Though Cox doesn’t identify as pro-choice, his concern is for women’s health, he says.
“Like it or not, abortion has always been available to people whether it’s legal or not,” Cox told MSNBC. “As a physician, I don’t want to go back to seeing women coming in with a perforated uterus or a coat hanger or somebody doing an abortion who doesn’t know how to do it.”