Oklahoma Legislators Include Emergency Clause in Abortion-Ultrasound Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 25, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Oklahoma Legislators Include Emergency Clause in Abortion-Ultrasound Bill

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 25
, 2008

Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — Oklahoma became the latest state to allow women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn baby before an abortion. Legislators reviewed that legislation on Thursday and included an emergency clause in it to make it so abortion practitioners don’t have to do one in cases of rape or incest.

Gov. Brad Henry vetoed the comprehensive abortion reduction bill containing the ultrasound measure in part because he wanted to make sure women who were victims of sexual abuse were exempted from it.

The state legislature overrode the veto and put the bill on the law books.

But, on Thursday, they went back and razed the original bill containing the ultrasound language and included the exemption Henry wanted.

The Oklahoman indicated Tulsa Republican Rep. Daniel Sullivan said the addition would make it clear that women wouldn’t have to be shown the ultrasound images in those cases.

The original language of the ultrasound portion of the comprehensive bill says women don’t have to look at the ultrasound but requires abortion practitioners to explain it to them. The exemption includes the explanation.

The revised ultrasound bill, SB 2001, received a 93-0 vote, according to the newspaper, and now heads to the Oklahoma Senate, which is expected to approve it and send it to Governor Henry for his signature.

As LifeNews.com previously reported, the Oklahoma Senate voted 37-11 to override Governor Brad Henry’s veto of the pro-life bill and the House followed suit on an 85-15 vote.

The comprehensive measure also includes protection for the conscience rights of health care professionals to refuse to participate in abortions, puts more limits in place on the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, and makes sure women are not pressured or forced into having an abortion.

The measure also disallows so-called wrongful life lawsuits where parents can sue doctors for the birth of a disabled baby instead of suggesting an abortion.

In addition, teenagers who want an abortion would require written consent beforehand and it includes a section making sure the abortion practitioner who dispenses the dangerous abortion drug does so within FDA guidelines and reports medical problems to state officials.

Oklahoma became the sixteenth state with an abortion-ultrasound requirement. When used in pregnancy centers the ultrasounds convince an overwhelming percentage of women to keep their baby.

The veto was the second occasion in which Henry vetoed a bill that would put abortion limits in place.

He vetoed a measure that banned the use of state funds or facilities for abortions but let a revised bill including rape and incest exceptions in the ban become state law.

ACTION: Contact Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry and let him know your thoughts on his vetoing the abortion limits. You can find complete contact information at https://www.governor.state.ok.us/contact.php

Related web sites:
Oklahomans for Life – https://www.okforlife.org