Communications & Public Affairs
April 7, 2021

Contact: State Rep. Ajay Pittman
Office: (405) 557-7393

Contact: Rep. Denise Brewer
Office (405) 557-7361

Pittman, Brewer Respond to Statements Made in Public Health Committee

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Reps. Ajay Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, and Denise Brewer, D-Tulsa, both members of the House Public Health Committee, issued the following statements after what they termed insensitive comments were made during debate of an anti-abortion bill today.

“In times like these where we see our nation on the cusp of reckoning social and racial injustices, we still endure implicit bias from our colleagues who are insensitive to what is said about the hurtful and ugly past of this country’s treatment of African Americans. Slavery is not something we should compare to abortions or to anything else in the year 2021, unless we discuss the “spirit of superiority” over women and people of color.

“We continue as policy makers to chip away at the rights of women to choose proper healthcare for themselves in Senate Bill 612, and now we are hearing our colleagues compare these healthcare issues to slavery which also limited the rights of Black women by not allowing them to have a choice not to have children by their slave masters.”

– Rep. Ajay Pittman

“We have been bombarded by anti-choice bills, which all have a common theme: written by men focusing on taking away the rights of pregnant people to control their bodies. SB 612 is particularly offensive. It is an attempt to destroy doctor-patient confidentiality, threatens physicians with huge fines and felony charges, and none of these bills say anything about the responsibility of the father.

“Today, we heard a claim that the abortion fight is bigger than the hundreds of years when African Americans were kidnapped and enslaved, with no control of their bodies, families, or even recognized as humans. Those insensitive ideas are alive and well in our Capitol.”

– Rep. Denise Brewer