Passage Wednesday of meaningful pro-life legislation is a victory for all Oklahomans, said Senator Daisy Lawler, author of the measure and a founding member of Democrats for Life.
House Bill 1686 will ensure “informed consent” by Oklahoma women seeking abortions and “parental notification” before a minor can receive an abortion, the Comanche Democrat said.
The measure passed on a 44-4 vote.
“The United States Supreme Court has said that abortions are legal and constitutional,” Lawler said. “The goal of this legislation is to make sure Oklahoma women of all ages fully understand all their options when making the choice to end their pregnancy.”
Senate amendments to House Bill 1686 were crafted by Lawler, D-Comanche, and Senator Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau, in consultation with Tony Lauinger, chairman of Oklahomans for Life.
“With the endorsement of Oklahomans for Life, and the bi-partisan support this bill received in the Senate, I am extremely hopeful that the House will accept the Senate amendments and send this bill to Governor Henry,” Lawler said. “To do otherwise would be to simply play politics with the lives of unborn Oklahoma children.”
The legislation requires that women receive certain information 24 hours before an abortion can be performed. The information includes:
The name of the physician who will perform the abortion;
Medical risks associated with an abortion and carrying a child to term;
The gestational age of the fetus;
And other objective information including materials designed to inform her of the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child at two-week increments.
The bill also requires that women be told that the father of the child is liable for financial support and that government benefits may also be available to them.
The information will be published and provided by the State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision and will contain a list of agencies and services available to assist a woman through a pregnancy and once the child is born.
The bill makes exceptions in cases of emergency.
“Oklahoma women who choose to end their pregnancies often do so because they haven’t been made aware of other options that are available to them,” Lawler said. “This bill will help educate Oklahoma women of all their choices and the services available to them.”
The measure also requires that 48 hours before an “un-emancipated minor” or a woman for whom a guardian has been appointed can receive an abortion, the parents or guardian of the woman must be notified in writing.
The law provides for judicial bypass of parental notification in certain circumstances.
The bill also sets out penalties for violation of the act, including disciplinary action against the physician by the State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision or the State Board of Osteopathic Examiners.
Additionally, the bill allows for criminal prosecution of a person who commits the crimes of shooting with intent to kill, drive-by shooting and aggravated assault and battery upon an unborn child from conception through the entire pregnancy.
That portion of the legislation has been dubbed the “Lacy Peterson Provision,” in remembrance of the pregnant California woman whose murder received national attention when her husband was charged with and convicted of the crime.