On April 6th, an Oklahoma state Senate committee approved House Bill 1409, which would update their current informed consent law as well as increase the 24-hour waiting period prior to abortion to 72-hours. If passed, Oklahoma would join Missouri, South Dakota and Utah in requiring longer waiting periods prior to an abortion.
The President of Oklahomans for Life, Tony Lauinger, commented on the legislation.
He told LifeNews, “HB 1409 improves our current abortion-informed-consent law by providing a 72-hour waiting period before an abortion, requiring that abortion facilities, on their websites, link to the state’s Woman’s Right to Know website, and providing that mothers considering abortion be informed that “abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”
“The purpose of the bill is to provide a better opportunity for adequate reflection — following receipt of informed-consent information about risks, alternatives, and the development of the unborn child — before undertaking the irrevocable step of going through with an abortion,” Lauinger added.
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Sen. Greg Treat and Rep. Lisa Billy authored the legislation. Sen. Treat said, “In Oklahoma, we have a waiting period for divorce of 10 days. If there are minor children it is 90 days. We should also take it very seriously when we’re talking about the irrevocable decision of abortion.”
Unsurprisingly, abortion supporters in Oklahoma argue that the legislation places undue burden on a woman’s right to abortion. The states legislative council for the Center for Reproductive Rights, Amanda Allen, said, “Women are more than capable of making their own decisions regarding their health and this bill does nothing more than erect insulting and demeaning hurdles to obtaining a safe and legal abortion. Politicians in Oklahoma need to get their priorities straight and advance bills that truly support the health, rights, and lives of Oklahoma women — not underhanded political games that make health care impossible to obtain.”
However, the National Right to Life Committee points out that waiting periods and Informing women that “abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being” is not new. In fact, it is language that has already been upheld by the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
As LifeNews previously reported, next week the Oklahoma Senate is expected to vote on the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act (HB 1721), which would ban dismemberment abortions in the state. This law targets the D&E abortion method that tears an unborn baby a part limb from limb.
National Right to Life Director of State Legislation, Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., explained the importance of this legislation.
She said, “Before the first trimester ends, the unborn child has a beating heart, brain waves, and every organ system in place. Dismemberment abortions occur after the baby has reached these milestones.” She added, “When abortion textbooks describe in cold, explicit detail exactly how to kill a human being by ripping off arms and legs piece by piece, civilized members of society have no choice but to stand up and demand a change. When you think it can’t be uglier, the abortion industry continues to shock with violent methods of abortion.”