New Oklahoma Pro-Life Signage Law Sparks Controversy

In the pantheon of making things harder than they have to be…

Earlier this year, Oklahoma passed the Humanity of the Unborn Child Act that among other things will require restaurants, malls, schools and other buildings open to the public that are under the purview of the state’s Department of Health to post a sign that reads as follows:

“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.”

As one can imagine a controversy has been sparked by the signage requirement, but not for the reasons you’d think.

While the law has been called “completely unnecessary and unwanted” by the Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, it’s the business sector that is crying foul over having to hassle with posting the signage. An unsourced estimate is cited by LawNewz at the signage costing an estimated $2.3 million to implement across the state.

Except that nowhere does the law say how the sign must appear beyond having the text. Claiming that businesses are going to have to spend a lot of money getting a professionally made sign is just wrong. Compliance with the new law is as simple as copying and pasting the text onto a simple sheet of paper (stick it in a fancy plastic sleeve if so inclined) and post the thing next to the hand dryer.

Heck, write it in crayon! 

It’s worth noting that the text in the law indicates that the Department of Health is responsible for providing the signage and since the state didn’t fund the signage portion of the bill it’s likely the requirement will be altered in some way. State legislators have agreed that the law will have to be “tempered a tad.”