Oklahoma Bill: Women Can Hear Baby’s Heartbeat Before Abortion

State   Steven Ertelt   Mar 8, 2012   |   1:10PM    Oklahoma City, OK

The Oklahoma state Senate has approved a bill that allows women to know they can hear the heartbeat of their unborn baby before having an abortion — something abortion centers don’t normally let women hear beforehand.

The Heartbeat Informed Consent Act received a 34-8 vote and now heads to the Oklahoma state House for consideration. The bill originally required the abortion practitioner to play the sonogram of the baby’s heartbeat before the abortion but was amendment to have the abortion practitioner tell women they have the option to hear it if they wish before the abortion is done.

Republican Senator Dan Newberry of Tulsa, said the bill is important to help establish a “culture of life,” according to a Reuters report and he said the heartbeat is really the only way a baby can inform his or her mother about a desire to live.

“It can’t say please don’t kill me, it can’t say I want to live. It can’t say anything,” he said.

But Martha Skeeters, president of the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, a pro-abortion group, opposes playing the sonogram for women and said the bill was merely an attempt by the state government to stop abortions.

In February, the Oklahoma state Senate approved legislation that would have the state joining others that have passed a statement of position saying human life begins at conception. The Oklahoma state Senate approved its measure, SB 1433, by a 34-8 vote, of the bill that confirms, “The life of each human being begins at conception.”

“Unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and well-being,” the language of the measure states. “The laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state.”

Oklahoma Citizens for Life chairman Tony Lauinger applauded passage of the measure, saying, “We hope that as many lives can be saved as is possible to save, and not only does that benefit the child whose life is spared, but it benefits the mother who steps back from the irrevocable, lethal act of taking her child’s life.”

Sponsored by Tulsa Senator Brian Crain, SB 1433 defines the terms “unborn child” and “unborn children” and the bill is now headed to the state House, where pro-life advocates expect it will be approved.

Crain has modeled his bill after a 1986 Missouri law that was later upheld by the Supreme Court as constitutional but not able to affect abortion law.