April 20, 2010
Oklahoma Passes Several Abortion Bills
The Oklahoma Senate has passed five abortion-related bills, including one that would require women seeking an abortion early in their pregnancies to undergo vaginal ultrasound. The Associated Press reports that the bill was earlier declared unconstitutional because it dealt with more than one subject.
The Tulsa World reports that one of the bill would require a woman to have an ultrasound within an hour of an abortion. Another bill that was passed would require women seeking an abortion to report information about themselves (such as marital status, education, reason for abortion) to be displayed statistically on a website.
The AP explains further background and more information on the other bills.
At least three states require ultrasounds before all abortions, but no other states require vaginal ultrasounds or that doctors to describe the image to women.
... [Governor] Henry vetoed the ultrasound requirement in larger bill two years ago, arguing it had no exclusions for victims of rape or incest. But his veto was overridden when anti-abortion Democrats joined with Republicans. The bill was later ruled unconstitutional because it dealt with more than one subject. The bill passed Monday also has no exceptions. Henry has not indicated whether he will sign it.
It passed 35-11 Monday with several Democrats voting with Republicans. Of the five women in the Senate, all Democrats, two voted for the bill and three voted against.
The other abortion measures would require women to complete a lengthy questionnaire before receiving an abortion, mandate certain signs be posted in an abortion clinics and prevent so-called "wrongful-life" lawsuits in cases where a parent might argue that a child with birth defects or other problems would have been better off aborted. Another bill would prohibit state insurance exchanges, created under the new federal health care law, from covering abortions.