OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Legislation that would make it more difficult for minors to receive an abortion without notifying their parents sailed through a Republican-controlled Senate committee on Monday despite the objections of Democrats.
The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services approved three abortion-related bills on 6-2 party-line votes, sending them to the full Senate.
Two of the bills would restrict the use of "judicial bypass," a procedure that allows those younger than 18 to seek a judge's permission to get an abortion without parental consent. The third bill would add more than two dozen questions that abortion providers must answer as part of a questionnaire on the procedure gathered by state health officials.
Abortion opponents argued that Oklahoma's judicial bypass is being exploited by abortion providers seeking out judges who routinely approve the practice, but abortion rights supporters said it is rarely used and necessary in cases where teenagers facing an unwanted pregnancy might face abuse from upset parents.
The first bill, sponsored by Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, would require a parent of a minor seeking an abortion to provide a government-issued photo identification and limit judicial bypass to the county where the minor lives. The second measure, by Sen. A.J. Griffin, R-Guthrie, requires parental notification in all cases, except if the pregnant girl or teenager declares she is a victim of sexual or physical abuse by a parent.