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Around 240 new laws take effect Nov. 1 in Oklahoma

Hundreds of new laws will become active Friday. They will deal with a range of issues, from horse slaughter to abortion.
by Graham Lee Brewer Published: November 1, 2013

Additional abortion regulations are among more than 240 new laws that go into effect Friday.

Other new laws boost the cost of a new driver's license, permit certain surveillance cameras and allow some convicted criminals to use DNA testing to challenge their conviction.

On the abortion issue, House Bill 1361 requires parents of a minor seeking an abortion to prove they are the legal guardians before the abortion can be carried out. The law does allow minors to seek a judicial waiver for the requirement but also gives judges authority to require the minors who receive an abortion with such a waiver to seek counseling.

“My intention was to put some common sense accountability and safeguards into the system to avoid abuse and just to really look out for the best interest of the minor,” said Rep. Randy Grau, R-Edmond, the measure's author.

House Bill 1588 prevents any abortion from taking place until at least 48 hours after the written notice is received.

House Bill 2015 adds more than a dozen questions to the Individual Abortion Form, which all physicians must fill out for each abortion performed. The new questions include asking if the pregnant woman was asked if she wanted to hear the heartbeat of the fetus and if she was notified of the sex of the fetus before the abortion.

Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma called the bills anti-choice, saying they would do nothing to prevent unintended pregnancies or reduce the need for abortions in the state of Oklahoma.

“Politicians should focus on solving problems in Oklahoma today,” the group said in a statement. “They should stop wasting time on legislation that interferes in the private health care decisions of families tomorrow.”

Surveillance cameras

Senate Bill 587, by Sen. Ron Justice, R-Chickasha, and Rep. Harold Wright, R-Weatherford allows family members to place surveillance cameras in the rooms of their loved ones in nursing homes.

“Nursing home residents are being raped, physically assaulted, abused, neglected and injured, and nobody on the staff seemed to know how these injuries were happening,” said Wes Bledsoe, president of A Perfect Cause, a victim's rights advocacy group.

“We also need to be sure that they are receiving appropriate care, because often times they're not. Oklahoma ranks among the worst in the nation for worst quality of care for nursing home residents year after year.”

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