Back in June, Oklahoma passed the Humanity of the Unborn Child Act, which includes a provision that requires public restrooms — for instance, those in restaurants, public schools, and hospitals — to feature anti-abortion signs that urge pregnant women to carry their fetus to term.
Along with a link to the Oklahoma Health Department’s website, the signs would read:
“There are many public and private agencies willing and able to help you carry your child to term and assist you and your child after your child is born, whether you choose to keep your child or to place him or her for adoption. The State of Oklahoma strongly urges you to contact them if you are pregnant.”
Because the Legislature did not approve any funding for the signage, they’re projected to cost businesses a total of $2.3 million and would be required by January 2018, the Associated Press reports. As a result, the state’s Board of Health was to meet Tuesday to discuss potential regulations.
The signage cost, rather than the content, appears to be the root of the issue for businesses who oppose the measure. Jim Hooper, president of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association, told the AP, “We don’t have any concern about the information they’re trying to get out to women about their babies and their pregnancy … It’s just another mandate on small businesses.” Senator A.J. Griffin, who sponsored the bill, said she saw how it would need to be “tempered.”
“We need to make sure we have something that’s reasonable and still effective,” she added.
The bill also notably includes a measure that requires the State Department of Education to introduce materials in the classroom with “the purpose of achieving an abortion-free society.” Simultaneously, the educational materials are to “include no component of human sexuality education other than those included in science education standards.”