A new law in Oklahoma will likely force hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, public schools and other locations to post pro-life signs in public restrooms "for the purpose of achieving an abortion-free society."
According to the News & Observer, any business regulated by the State Board of Health will be required to post the placard, which will 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.
However, perhaps more controversial than the anti-abortion message itself is the fact that, while the state government is mandating the signs, it will be the small businesses paying the $2.3 million price tag because the Oklahoma Legislature didn't approve any funding for the bill.
That's a lot of money to expect small businesses to pay for an additional government regulation.
"We don't have any concern about the information they're trying to get out to women about their babies and their pregnancy. This is just the wrong way to do it," Oklahoma Restaurant Association President Jim Hooper told the News & Observer. "It's just another mandate on small businesses. It's not just restaurants. It includes hospitals, nursing homes."
"It just doesn't make sense," he added.
The Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, however, has a problem with the bill altogether, calling the conservative legislation "completely unnecessary and unwanted," adding that it will put unnecessary strain on state agencies that are already financially strapped.
The bill was requested by the pro-life group Oklahomans for Life and is sponsored by state Sen. A.J. Griffin, a Republican, who admitted that the law "is going to need to be tempered a tad" to exclude some facilities.
"We need to make sure we have something that's reasonable and still effective," she said.
Tony Lauinger, executive director of Oklahomans for Life, said the group's intention was for the state Health Department to produce the signs under the condition that the Legislature appropriated the money for the task.
The Humanity of the Unborn Child Act was passed earlier this year and requires all signage to be in place by January 2018. In addition to the sign regulation, the law also includes provisions that call for the development of an educational program for schools "to teach the humanity of the unborn child."
See the legislation in it's entirety: