Oklahoma Senate Turns Back Flawed Right to Know Abortion Law
by Steven Ertelt
February 23, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Oklahoma state Senate has rejected the latest version of a bill requiring women to be offered certain information prior to an abortion. But an Oklahoma pro-life group said a careful analysis shows that the flawed bill would have had little impact.
The Senate voted 26 to 19 against a conference committee report on Senate Bill 710, sponsored by Sen. Charles Laster (D-Shawnee). As a result, the report was sent back to committee.
The state chairman for Oklahomans for Life, Tony Lauinger, wrote a letter to Senate members in which he said this particular "informed consent" measure is "meaningless."
According to Oklahomans for Life, statistics from Planned Parenthood show that most abortions — 99 percent — are performed before 21 weeks of pregnancy.
Lauinger has said his organization would consider a vote for the flawed legislative measure a pro-abortion vote if the legislation did not require women to be informed about fetal development for children less than 20 weeks old.
Tulsa Republican leader James Williamson, who is pro-life, had wanted to add such an amendment.
A number of states throughout the nation have passed true Right to Know laws with much success. Backers of such legislation note that, in addition to providing valuable information to women, such laws can reduce abortion rates.
In Pennsylvania, for instance, the abortion rate dropped significantly after an informed consent law went into effect in 1994.
Oklahoma Republicans have said that passing pro-life legislation is one of their major goals for the current legislative session.