Oklahoma senator aims to codify the definition of 'female'
OKLAHOMA (KTEN) — Oklahoma state Sen. Jessica Garvin (R-District 43) is proposing legislation that she's calling a "Women's Bill of Rights."
Senate Bill 408 would define a "woman" as:
"A natural person whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova"
Garvin proposed the legislation to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to separating men and women.
"Currently in Oklahoma, we do not have a definition codified that explains what that is," she said. "We've come to a point in society where unfortunately we're having to take the time to define what a man and a woman both are."
The bill would let Oklahoma bar a male (defined in the proposed legislation as "a natural person whose biological reproductive system is developed to fertilize the ova of a female") from entering spaces meant specifically for women, including restrooms, locker rooms, and domestic violence shelters — provided that the ban is in the interest of privacy and safety.
Garvin said she has already received support from health care providers who need to understand their patients' biology to properly treat them.
"There are treatment options for things like cancer where your outcomes are very heavily weighted on gender," Garvin said. "Providing clarity and data collection is imperative."
Oklahoma resident Teri Armstrong said she supports the measure as common sense.
"We may have attributes that make us a little more tomboyish or a little more feminine, but that doesn't change who we are," she said.
Garvin expects the bill will have enough support on both sides of the aisle to make it to Gov. Kevin Stitt's desk. If passed, the legislation would go into effect on November 1.