by Steven Ertelt
February 23, 2005
Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — Two kinds of laws that have significantly reduced abortions in other states received approval from an Oklahoma state House committee. The bill creating them now moves the full House for consideration.
The House Judiciary Committee approved House Bill 1543, which creates the "Women’s Right to Know Act" and the "Family Protection Act."
The right to know part of the provision prevents an abortion practitioner from performing an abortion on a woman without her consent, except in an emergency medical situation when consent can’t be obtained.
The consent given would also occur only after the woman considering the abortion is provided with information on abortion’s risks and alternatives 24 hours beforehand.
Similar laws in other states have reduced the number of abortions by about one-third.
The bill also creates a requirement that an abortion facility first inform the parents or legal guardian of a teenager’s desire to have an abortion before the minor can have one. The bill also includes Supreme Court-mandated judicial bypass provisions for cases of abuse.
Parental notification and consent laws have reduced abortions on teenagers by about 30% in the states that have them.
Del City Representative Kevin Calvey, the bill sponsor, said 19 other states have similar informed consent requirements.
The Oklahoma state Senate rejected a similar bill last year because it contained provisions pro-life lawmakers opposed.
Earlier this month, a state House committee also passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which offers further protection for pregnant women. Prosecutors will be able to hold criminals accountable for two crimes rather than just one.
According to current Oklahoma law, the killing of an unborn child after viability is homicide. The statute provides no protection for pregnant women earlier in pregnancy.