Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry signs 3 anti-abortion bills

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: April 6, 2010 at 4:17 am •  Published: April 6, 2010
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/> Tamya Cox, legislative counsel for the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said her group is disappointed the governor signed the measures.

"We are definitely upset about the bills,” Cox said. "We’re going to try to figure out what our next step is. We will definitely correspond our efforts with the Center for Reproductive Rights.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights successfully challenged earlier versions of each of the bills.

Two measures raise most concern
The three measures were contained in two bills; one passed in 2008 and the other passed in 2009. Both contained at least two anti-abortion measures. The bills were found to have violated a requirement in the Oklahoma Constitution that legislation deal with a single subject.

Legislators this year filed separate bills for each of the seven measures that were contained in the two bills. The Center for Reproductive Rights has said the measures would interfere with a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion and her privacy.

Toti said the group is especially concerned with two of the anti-abortion measures: House Bill 2780 would require a women be given a description of ultrasound images of her unborn child and be offered those images before getting an abortion, and HB 3284 would require doctors to report detailed information about abortions to the state Health Department, including the age, marital status and education level of patients.

"Those bills raise the most significant constitutional concerns and would have the biggest impact on women’s access to reproductive health care,” Toti said.

Henry signed the 2009 anti-abortion measure into law, but he vetoed the 2008 bill, mostly because of the ultrasound provisions. Legislators overrode his veto.

It’s not known what Henry will do with this year’s version. The governor has a policy of not commenting on pending legislation until after he reviews the final version.



OTHER MEASURES

The Legislature is considering four other anti-abortion measures:


House Bill 3284: Would require doctors to report detailed information about abortions to the state Health Department, including the age, marital status and education level of patients.


HB 2780: Would require a woman be given a description of ultrasound images of her unborn child and be offered those images before getting an abortion.


HB 3075: Would require certain signs to be displayed in an abortion clinic.


HB 2656: Would ban lawsuits that claim a baby would have been better off aborted.

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