A bill to require women seeking an abortion to fill out a questionnaire passed the Senate on Tuesday. House Bill 3284 passed the Senate after nearly 45 minutes of debate in a vote of 32-11. An identical bill was passed last session and signed by Gov. Brad Henry but the state Supreme Court threw it out because it was part of a bill that violated the state’s requirement that legislation stick to one subject.
The measure is being held in a parliamentary procedure by the author, Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond. If no action is taken, the bill will go to the governor by the end of the week. The bill requires a woman seeking an abortion to provide marital status, reasons for ending the pregnancy, whether she currently is receiving public assistance and whether the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. The questionnaire must be signed by the physician. Physicians who treat women who have complications after an abortion are also required to fill out a form, according to the bill. Opponents of the measure called the bill an "affront to women,” and "unreasonable.” Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, objected to the bill because women seeking abortions after rape or incest are not exempt from the reporting requirement. "This bill goes too far,” Leftwich said. "We have a statistical website already. Why do we need this? Do we keep on wanting to make national news? This affects our image as a state and affects how women feel about living in this state.