Oklahoma Anti-Choice Law Wastes Taxpayer Dollars

Legal battles over anti-choice laws have already cost North Dakota taxpayers nearly $400,000, Kansas and Idaho taxpayers over $1 million, South Dakota taxpayers $4 million, and Texas taxpayers over $650,000 and the list keeps growing! After Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed an anti-choice bill into law last Wednesday, Oklahoma is predicted to be the next state to use taxpayer dollars to cover the costs of court fees wasted defending unconstitutional legislation.

The new Oklahoma law will require family planning clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. This has been a common tactic used by anti-choice groups to target reproductive health clinics that provide abortions. Four other states have passed similar laws and all four have been challenged. It is likely Oklahoma will be the fifth. Legal analysts estimate each anti-choice law challenged could cost the state at least $250,000.

The Hyde Amendment guarantees that choice, a constitutionally protected right, does not infringe on others’ rights by using taxpayer money. On the other hand, the millions of dollars spent defending unconstitutional anti-choice laws come directly from the taxpayers’ wallet. It is not fiscally responsible when legislatures use taxpayer dollars to further their political agenda, rather than focusing on prevention. States often hire expensive private law firms in addition to relying on the Attorney General’s office when defending these laws that have been consistently declared unconstitutional. They waste even more taxpayer dollars when they continue to appeal court rulings and spend legislative sessions focusing on anti-choice legislation– often that has already been declared unconstitutional in other states. Anti-choice extremists cost their states millions of dollars defending these bills instead of budgeting for family planning funding that is proven to decrease unplanned pregnancies, teen pregnancies and abortions, as well as the spread of dangerous STDs.
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