Oklahoma’s tough new abortion laws - Macleans.ca

Oklahoma’s tough new abortion laws

A woman seeking an abortion will now have to get an ultrasound


AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano

New legislation in Oklahoma means a woman seeking an abortion will have to undergo an ultrasound at least one hour before having the procedure, and listen as a doctor describes the fetus’s heartbeat, organs and lungs—even in cases of rape and incest.

The Republican-dominated Oklahoma legislature passed the controversial law early last week; on Monday, a state judge ordered a 45-day delay on enforcing the measure. The state’s Democratic governor, Brad Henry, whose initial veto of the law was overruled, called it an “unconstitutional invasion of privacy.” Supporters say the ultrasound allows women to make a more informed choice, and Republican leader Glenn Coffee called the vote a “good day for the cause of life.” The Center for Reproductive Rights, a New York-based pro-choice group that brought down a similar bill in Oklahoma last year, has filed a lawsuit.

A second law protecting doctors who withhold information about fetal defects from being sued by parents was also passed last week. Two other abortion bills are still on the table that, if passed, could make Oklahoma home to the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S.

Oklahoma’s moves are the latest in a wave of measures in at least 22 states. Many are acting on provisions in the new health care package that allow states to prohibit insurers from covering abortions. Other measures go further. In Virginia, recent budget changes mean no state money can be spent on abortions in cases where the mother’s health is at risk. Last week, Florida’s senate approved legislation (tacked on to a bill about drug-free workplaces) that would require women who seek an abortion to pay for their ultrasounds, at a cost of up to US$1,000. Exceptions would be made for victims of rape or incest, but women in those cases would have to provide proof.

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Oklahoma’s tough new abortion laws

  1. I agree with a women's right to choose, and if an abortion is her choice then I also recognize the reasoning behind having her pay for her choice. BUT the law of an ultrasound – well that's barbaric and taking it too far. It is mental torture on the patient from the people who don't like the choice of abortion. That;s not right. What next? Will meat eaters need to all watch as they slaughter cows, chicken, etc before we eat them to see what the animal goes through?

    • Couldn't agree more!

  2. This is a "right to know" issue. If it walks like a duck, its a damn duck. This measures up to be as close to rape as anything I can see. Forcing a woman to do this is still force. Her rights are parished under the disguise of fraud. Its fraud because its not a right to know issue, DUMB ASS legislators!!! This is clearly stepping all over separation of Church and State. I say we sue Oklahoma for ignoring that.

  3. I don't understand why women even have the right to abort their unborn child! I could understand it if they were raped or something but to use it as a form of birth control is crazy! And the fathers of these babies don't even have a say in the matter.
    There are allot of men out there who would love to bring up their child.Therefore your forcing us fathers to abort our children if we want to or not! its crazy that women can just walk around getting abortions all willy nilly like its a nose job or something mabey if some women saw the child they were about to hoover out their vagina they would realize what they were doing.But don't get me wrong ,there are women out there who have been impregnated bye some shit head rapist or uncle but to use it as a form of birth control is wrong and it drives me crazy that anybody can do it no questions asked !

  4. I don't understand why women even have the right to abort their unborn child! I could understand it if they were raped or something but to use it as a form of birth control is crazy! And the fathers of these babies don't even have a say in the matter.

    • Most of the fathers run as fast as they can.

  5. Must be a women who censors these comments! I thought this was a free country! Why was my comment censored? I Had more to say! and there is your proof! You can go out and get an abortion if you want ,but you not aloud to speak your mind about it!

  6. Good. We have desensitized infanticide t the point that a female believes she's simply ridding her body of an unwanted growth, little more than a collection of cells. This thinking is deductive reasoning, and it's similar to decrying a forest in terms of the nitrogen content in the soil or the carbon content in the plants. Doing this removes from one's perception the true beauty of the whole and the vital importance of various relationships between flora and fauna.

    Ontario will never go for this in a million years, in spite of the view that the provinces fertility crisis, is creating problems:100 000 fewer elementary students since 2002, a rapidly aging population, and immigrants who are not exactly embracing secularism.

    We lust learned of a 22 year old female who uses and sells cocaine. One of her flunkies got pregnant. She immediately made all the arrangements so that the young girl could get an abortion and fully return to the fold.

    May your tribe grow strong.

  7. Call it for what it is-infanticide, murder, homicide. yes, it's a woman's right to have a roll in the hay, get pregnant and then visit The order of Canada guy, have her fetus sucked out and tossed into the dumpster at the back of the Morgantaller clinic. Then she tries to get a job in education only to learn that there aren't any jobs because there aren't any kids, because we allowed so many of them to end up in henry's dumpster.

  8. There needs to be more sex education in schools in order to reduce the volume of abortions being carried out. However, the classic Republican comeback is that more sex ed. = more teens having sex. There's no mention of our over-sexualised culture, the ubiquity of glamour magazines or the hammering into little girls heads that they must be perceived as 'sexy'. No. Ignoring the problem of teens ignorant to contraception and just being told to live by the outdated adage ''abstinence is the best form of contraception'' just doesn't cut it when it comes to dealing with any of the issues of modern America, and sadly, this statute sums the problem up.

    This new law exemplifies the American government's Evangelical choke hold and Republican irony. It is almost torture.

  9. this is gay
    abortion is bad and not allowed in judaism

    • I am unclear about what you are referring to. What does this article or subsequent comments have to do with homosexuality? Or are you just being a bigot??

      Honestly, think about what you are saying before you put it in writing!

      • WELL SAID

      • stop picking on the jews

  10. can you please stop refering to something you don't like as homosexual?

  11. Any doctor who knowingly withholds information about fetal abnormalities from a pregnant woman deserves not only to be sued but to lose his or her license to practice medicine.
    Don't let your daughters move to Oklahoma. Too bad. Guthrie's a nice town.

  12. An 18 year old girl was forced to see an ultrasound and listen to the heartbeat at a clinic just outside Toronto prior to her abortion. Pure torture. The girl is young, alone and not knowledgeable enough to refuse. Its deplorable that they did that to her.

  13. hotchalk is a muslim and smells

  14. im horny