Okla. House panel passes anti-abortion measure

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm •  Published: February 4, 2014
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"Families faced with these decisions are horrified," McDaniel said. She said organizations like Parents Responding to Infant Death Experience offer emotional support and information to parents who experience the death of an infant.

Grau said there is no perinatal hospice program In Oklahoma but they are operated by hospitals and clinics in neighboring states, including Arkansas, Kansas and Texas.

The stem cell bill by Rep. Dan Fisher, R-El Reno, makes it a felony for a person to "knowingly conduct nontherapeutic research that destroys a human embryo or subjects a human embryo to substantial risk of injury or death." Violations are punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Fisher said he believes that life begins at conception and that an embryo is a person.

"The purpose of the bill is to recognize that embryos have personhood," Fisher said. He said the bill would not interfere with ongoing adult stem cell research projects.

But some lawmakers questioned whether the bill might have a chilling effect on stem cell research in the state. Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove, said the state has already placed restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.

"We're talking about a problem that isn't a problem," said Cox, a physician. Cox also said banning a form of scientific research could create problems as new medical treatments emerge.

"Medicine and science change rapidly. We have to be able to deal with changes," he said.

Both measures now go to the House floor for debate and a vote.

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Online:

House Bill 2685: http://bit.ly/Lwfnwt

House Bill 2070 http://bit.ly/MYEp9c