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Thu Dec 1, 2022, 07:19 AM

Oklahoma citizen-led initiative would codify abortion access

Source: Associated Press

Oklahoma citizen-led initiative would codify abortion access

By ACACIA CORONADO and SEAN MURPHY
November 30, 2022

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Roger Coody has no legal training and his political experience until recently had been limited to registering people to vote. Now, the Oklahoma hairstylist is pushing a ballot proposal he wrote that would make abortion access a constitutional right in his deeply red state, where Republican lawmakers have banned the procedure in nearly all circumstances.

It’s part of a growing trend across the nation to put reproductive freedom to a popular vote after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, which had guaranteed the right to abortion nationwide for nearly 50 years.

“I don’t ever want to see anybody else’s right stripped away from them, because you never know when it is going to be yours,” said Coody, who said women who have been instrumental in his life inspired his foray into politics. “I am just trying to do my best to change things.”

It won’t be easy. Having overcome the initial hurdle where someone can protest a petition’s legality, the Tulsa man now needs approval from the secretary of state’s office. He then will have 90 days to gather more than 173,000 signatures of registered voters who want to put abortion rights to a vote. Campaigns for ballot questions can cost millions of dollars, and each signature must be verified before the governor schedules an election.

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Read more: https://apnews.com/article/abortion-health-legislature-oklahoma-government-and-politics-9153d0a96047ce1232372867a8ce415e

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