by Steven Ertelt
March 30, 2006
Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — The Oklahoma state Senate is stalling on a number of pro-life bills the state House has approved and pro-life groups are urging Senate leaders to lobby a committee chairman to hold hearings on the bills. The groups aren’t getting much support.
The House has approved seven pro-life measures but the chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee is not scheduled a hearing on the bills, just as he blocked four other measures last month.
That concerns Mike Jestes, director of the Oklahoma Family Policy Council, who urged President Pro Tem Mike Morgan, a Democrat to send the legislation directly to the full Senate.
"We know Oklahoma will be closely watching the Senate," Jestes told the Associated Press.
However, Morgan is declining Jestes’ request and said committee chairman Sen. Bernest Cain, also a Democrat, will decide if and when the bills are heard.
Cain told AP he is reviewing the pro-life bills and has not decided whether he will allow hearings on them. He has until April 6 to hold hearings and a vote or the bills will be dead for the legislative session.
"Oklahomans, the majority, would like to see this legislation heard. But we don’t believe it will receive a hearing,” Jestes told AP in response.
Measure the House has approved include a parental consent bill requiring parents to give their permission for an abortion and another telling women considering an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy that the unborn child will feel intense pain during the abortion.
Other measures include a pharmacist’s conscience clause, and a reporting bill to help the Oklahoma Department of Health better track abortions in the state.
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