Oklahoma City– In response to Oklahoma’s new law requiring private businesses to post government anti-abortion signs in their restrooms, the ACLU of Oklahoma released the following statement:
The following is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director:
“In the latest of their absurd and callous efforts to shame and stigmatize women, Oklahoma legislators from both parties have outdone themselves with a new government requirement that commands thousands of private businesses to turn their bathroom walls into billboards for a government anti-abortion statement.
In addition to being a politically motivated attack on Oklahoma’s women, the requirement that many businesses, including restaurants, post signs that advance a backwards and misogynist agenda amounts to forced political speech, which is impermissible under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Requiring business owners to communicate a biased statement to their patrons falls well outside the State’s interest to regulate business. The ACLU of Oklahoma is considering a range of legal options to halt this government command to display its propaganda on bathroom walls.
In the wake of public outcry from the business community, some legislators now promise a supposed quick fix to this problematic law in the upcoming session. We call on the legislators of both parties who voted for this campaign of shame and stigmatization against Oklahoma’s women to reassess their priorities and protect the fundamental rights and autonomy of women at the outset, not just when doing so accidentally aligns with political expediency.”