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Oklahoma gets a "D" in reproductive health report

by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: January 7, 2014

Oklahoma received a “D” in a report on reproductive health and rights released today via The Population Institute. The U.S., as a whole, received a C-.

Oklahoma was among 12 states to receive a D in the report from The Population Institute, a non-profit organization that “seeks to promote universal access to family planning information, education and services.”

Only 17 states received a B- or higher. Just four states (California, Maryland, Oregon and Washington) received an “A.” Oregon received the highest composite score. Thirteen states received F grades, including Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

Oklahoma received a D in the report because:

  • Oklahoma has the following laws, which make it “unnecessarily difficult” for a woman to have an abortion if she chooses to do so:
    • The woman must undergo mandatory counseling including information on a breast cancer link, fetal pain
    • There is a mandatory waiting period of 24 hours between counseling and procedure
    • Parental consent and notice is required
    • Clinicians who perform medication abortion procedures are required to be licensed physicians, and
    • There is limited insurance coverage.
  • Oklahoma has decided not to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act, but offers Medicaid expansions to cover family planning services for people who otherwise do not qualify for Medicaid. The expansion, in the form of an amendment, is offered to people with income levels up to 250 percent of the federal poverty line, loss of coverage postpartum, men and women under age 19.
  • Oklahoma has no laws “affirming a woman’s right to emergency contraception in the emergency room.”

The state was dinged in the report for its teen pregnancy rate, its rate of unintended pregnancies and its sex education requirements as well. You can read the Population Institute’s Oklahoma report card here and decide for yourself how you feel about the grade.


by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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