Oklahomans propose ballot initiative to secure reproductive freedoms

TULSA, Okla. — A citizen-led ballot initiative to restore reproductive freedoms to Oklahomans passed the challenge period Monday.

State Question 828 (SQ828) was filed on Oct. 31, 2022, and the deadline to file any protests against the ballot initiative was Monday at 5 p.m.

SQ828 would propose a constitutional amendment in Oklahoma to “establish a new individual right to reproductive freedom, including right to make and carry out all decisions about pregnancy, such as prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion, miscarriage management and interfility.”

The ballot initiative would also allow the state of Oklahoma to “regulate abortion after fetal viability, but not prohibit if medically needed to protect a patient’s life or physical or mental health.”

In May, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed House Bill 4327 (HB4327) into law, balling abortion from the moment of conception. Stitt has also previously said he would “sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk” as governor of Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State Rep. Mickey Dollens confirmed SQ828 passed without any challenges Monday evening.

“The Secretary of State has 25-50 days from today to determine when people can start gathering signatures,” Dollens wrote on Facebook. “Once that date has been set, the 90 day window of signature gathering begins.”

Within those 90 days, around 174,000 signatures have to be collected to get SB828 on the ballot in 2023.