The Republican-controlled House overwhelmingly passed three anti-abortion measures Tuesday despite warnings from a GOP member that their votes would drive Oklahoma women away from the Republican Party.
“This bill is an example of a bill that we've gone too far,” said Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove. “It hasn't happened in Oklahoma yet but it's happened nationwide — we've gone so far in disrespecting a woman's right to determine her own destiny that women are leaving the Republican Party.
“We keep doing stuff like this over and over and over again … pretty soon we're going to start pushing the women in Oklahoma out of the Republican Party, because they're going to say those guys really don't have any respect for a woman, a woman's independence and a woman's right to determine her own destiny.”
Two measures making it harder for young women to receive an abortion without notifying a parent and a bill that would expand the state's abortion reporting law all won easy approval. All three advance to the Senate.
The House voted 80-12 to pass HB 1588, which would eliminate a provision in state law that allows young women to obtain a judge's approval to get an abortion.
HB 1588 would eliminate the judicial bypass procedure. Victims of sexual or physical abuse by a parent are exempt from having to receive parental notification before an abortion.
Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa, opposed the bill, saying of the about 6,000 abortions performed annually in Oklahoma, only about 1,000 involve women younger than 18.
She said the existing state parental notification law is working.
“Some of these young people are impregnated by family members, neighbors, and what this notification does is it complicates that process,” McDaniel said. “I would ask you to leave it the way it is.”
The measure's author, Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, D-Oklahoma City, said, “This is a good bill … because we are dealing with human life here.
“The solution for incest is to take these guys and lock them up and not them let them back out,” she said.
The House also voted 81-13 to approve HB 1361, which would allow the judicial bypass procedure to remain. The measure, by Rep. Randy Grau, R-Edmond, would require a pregnant woman younger than 18 to go only to a judge in the county where she lives.
The House also voted 79-15 to pass HB 2015, which would add more questions to the Individual Abortion Form completed by the abortion provider.
It also would add more reporting measures to the Annual Abortion Report issued by the state Health Department and allow registered voters to initiate legal proceedings against an abortion provider who fails to comply with the reporting requirements.
The measure's author, Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, said the intent is to update reporting requirements to reflect laws passed the past couple of years. Oklahoma lawmakers passed the state's statistical abortion reporting law in 2010.