by Steven Ertelt
April 7, 2006
Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — A handful of pro-life bills on various abortion issues are dead for the legislative session because a state Senate committee chairman would not hold hearings on them even though the House previously approved them. The deadline for hearing bills approved by the other chamber has arrived.
Senator Bernest Cain, a Democrat, did not place any of the pro-life bills on the final agenda of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
He told the Associated Press that the legislature approved bills on abortion last year and he felt the new ones were not necessary. He called them "political’ and claimed they were not a serious attempt to address the issue.
Senate Republican leader Glen Coffee said Cain was playing politics with the legislation.
Mike Jestes, director of the Oklahoma Family Policy Council, had 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 declined Jestes’ request and said Cain would decide if and when the bills are heard.
"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.
Measures 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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