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Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has repeatedly claimed that Oklahoma is the “most pro-life state in the country”, yet when you take a step back and look at all of the metrics, the numbers tell a much different story.
Last month Stitt signed HB4327, effectively banning all abortions beginning at conception, and with today’s Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling, that bill will immediately go into law. The bill contains exceptions for abortions performed to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency, and in cases of rape or incest, which must be reported to law enforcement.
To require women to report a case of rape or incest law enforcement before they can terminate the unwanted pregnancy presents a wide range of problems. Most women do not report rape to law enforcement for a number of reasons including fear of retaliation or fear that police would not help. In fact, a study by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) found that out of every 1,000 sexual assaults, around 31% only ever get reported, and only 5% ever lead to an arrest.
Forcing child birth in a state that ranks in the bottom 10 for child well-being is clueless at best and at worst inhumane. If Gov. Stitt truly cared about the life of all of the children starting at conception, he would have included in the law for child support, welfare, and child tax credits to all be guaranteed at conception as well. Not guaranteeing life-supporting aid at the same point Stitt claims life begins shows that it is not life that he truly cares about.
Women are struggling in “pro-life” Oklahoma
Oklahoma has taken over the top, really bottom, spot for worst state to live in for women in 2022. In order to determine how women are faring and where they can find the best opportunities relative to where they live, WalletHub compared the 50 states and D.C. across 25 key indicators of living standards for women.
Their study showed that Oklahoma ranked dead last in both women’s economic & social well-being as well as women’s health care & safety.
Police are deadliest in “pro-life” Oklahoma
Stitt’s “pro-life” claims don’t carry over to the state’s criminal justice system either. For years, Oklahoma had the highest incarceration rate in not only the country, but the world. Adding to that high incarceration rate is the fact that Oklahoma had the highest mortality rate of police violence of all 50 states from 1980 through 2018. A peer-reviewed study produced by The Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and most renowned medical journals, showed that Oklahoma also led in the highest rate of underreporting killings out of all 50 states.
Oklahoma’s two largest police departments, Oklahoma City Police Department and Tulsa Police Department rank in the top 10 of deadliest police departments in the country. The problem is so prevalent that the United States Commission on Civil Rights put Oklahoma policing under review.
More people per capita executed by “pro-life” Oklahoma government
Oklahoma also recently became the second deadliest state in terms of executions, passing Virginia. In the past 8 months, Oklahoma has executed four people, bringing the statewide total to 116, passing Virginia’s 113, and trailing Texas’ 574.
Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor is not looking to slow the pace of executions either. He recently requested “as many executions as possible set four weeks apart” for 25 individuals on death row beginning this summer. Oklahoma is tied with Arizona for the most executions in 2022 with two, and that number is set to grow.
For a state with such low quality of life for women, children, and anyone who encounters law enforcement, is claiming a title of the “most pro-life” really accurate? A state where 20% of children live below the poverty line, 9,500 children in the foster care system, does Oklahoma’s claim of being the most for-life really hold water?