Week of April 21, 2014

  • HB 2684 Follow FDA guidelines on med. Abortion: Passed Senate 4/16/14. Sent to Governor.
  • HB 2685 Perinatal Hospice information requirement: Passed Senate 4/21/14. Will be sent to Governor soon.
  • SB 1848 Creates new standards for clinics and volunteers, adds hospital admitting privileges requirement: No change.
  • SB 1219 Requires prescription for EC if under age 17, Requires it be dispensed by a pharmacist for ages 17 and older. No Change.

We are particularly concerned about SB 1848 as this bill would close 2 of 3 clinics providing abortion care unless the law is challenged. This law is very dangerous to abortion access in Oklahoma. 

Week of April 14, 2014

  • HB 2418 Admitting privileges, 2nd trimester at hospital: No change, failed to pass Health and Human Services Committee and Appropriations Committee by April 10 and is now dormant.
  • HB 2684 Follow FDA guidelines on med. Abortion: No change.
  • HB 2685 Perinatal Hospice information requirement: Passed Appropriations Committee 4/9/14. On Senate Floor.
  • SB 1848 Creates new standards for clinics and volunteers, adds hospital admitting privileges requirement: No change.
  • SB 1219 Requires prescription for EC if under age 17, Requires it be dispensed by a pharmacist for ages 17 and older. No Change.
  • SB 1833 Criminalizes embryonic research. Mirror bill to now dormant HB 2070 if new amendment passes. In House Government Modernization and Accountability Committee. No change.

We are particularly concerned about SB 1848 as this bill would close 2 of 3 clinics providing abortion care unless the law is challenged. This law is very dangerous to abortion access in Oklahoma. 

Week of April 7, 2014

  • HB 2418 Admitting privileges, 2nd trimester at hospital: No change, must pass Health and Human Services Committee and Appropriations Committee by April 10 to remain active.
  • HB 2684 Follow FDA guidelines on med. Abortion: Passed Health and Human Services Committee 3/31/14. On Senate Floor, General Order.
  • HB 2685 Perinatal Hospice information requirement: No change.
  • HB 2039 Prohibits OKHA clinics from providing EC: No movement, Bill is now dormant.
  • HJR 1020 Allows any person or entity to deny coverage for contraception, abortion or sterilization: No movement, Bill is now dormant.
  • SB 1848 Creates new standards for clinics and volunteers, adds hospital admitting privileges requirement: Passed Public Health Committee 4/1/14. On House Floor, General Order.
  • New Bills we are watching:
  • SB 1219 Requires prescription for EC if under age 17, Requires it be dispensed by a pharmacist for ages 17 and older. Passed Public Health Committee 4/1/14. On House Floor Agenda.
  • SB 1833 Criminalizes embryonic research. Mirror bill to now dormant HB 2070 if new amendment passes. In House Government Modernization and Accountability Committee. Amendment to be heard 4/10/14.

We are particularly concerned about HB 2418 and SB 1848 as these bills would close 2 of 3 clinics providing abortion care unless the law is challenged. These laws are very dangerous to abortion access in Oklahoma. 

Week of March 31, 2014

  • HB 2418 Admitting privileges, 2nd trimester at hospital: No change.
  • HB 2684 Follow FDA guidelines on med. Abortion: No change.
  • HB 2685 Perinatal Hospice information requirement: Passed Health and Human Services Committee. Referred to Appropriations Committee 3/24/14.
  • HB 2039 Prohibits OKHA clinics from providing EC: No change.
  • HJR 1020 Allows any person or entity to deny coverage for contraception, abortion or sterilization: No change.
  • SB 1848 Creates new standards for clinics and volunteers, adds hospital admitting privileges requirement: No change.

We are particularly concerned about HB 2418 and SB 1848 as these bills would close 2 of 3 clinics providing abortion care unless the law is challenged. These laws have moved quickly and are very dangerous to abortion access in Oklahoma. 

Week of March 24, 2014

  • HB 2418 Admitting privileges, 2nd trimester at hospital: No change.
  • HB 2684 Follow FDA guidelines on med. Abortion: Referred to Rules Committee 3/17/14. Withdrawn from Rules and referred to Health and Human Services Committee 3/19/14.
  • HB 2685 Perinatal Hospice information requirement: Referred to Health and Human Services Committee and then to Appropriations Committee 3/19/14.
  • HB 2039 Prohibits OKHA clinics from providing EC: No change.
  • HJR 1020 Allows any person or entity to deny coverage for contraception, abortion or sterilization: No change.
  • SB 1848 Creates new standards for clinics and volunteers, adds hospital admitting privileges requirement: Referred to Public Health Committee 3/19/14.

We are particularly concerned about HB 2418 and SB 1848 as these bills would close 2 of 3 clinics providing abortion care unless the law is challenged. These laws have moved quickly and are very dangerous to abortion access in Oklahoma. 

Week of March 17, 2014

  • HB 2418 Admitting privileges, 2nd trimester at hospital: Referred to Senate Health and Human Services Committee and then Senate Appropriations Committee 3/14/14.
  • HB 2684 Follow FDA guidelines on med. Abortion: Passed House 3/10/14. On Senate Floor 3/11/14.
  • HB 2685 Perinatal Hospice information requirement: Referred to Senate Rules Committee and then Senate Appropriations Committee 3/12/14.
  • HB 2039 Prohibits OKHA clinics from providing EC: No change.
  • HJR 1020 Allows any person or entity to deny coverage for contraception, abortion or sterilization: No change.
  • SB 1848 Creates new standards for clinics and volunteers, adds hospital admitting privileges requirement: Passed Senate 3/12/14, on House Floor 3/13/14.

We are particularly concerned about HB 2418 and SB 1848 as these bills would close 2 of 3 clinics providing abortion care unless the law is challenged. These laws have moved quickly and are very dangerous to abortion access in Oklahoma. 

Week of March 10, 2014

  • HB 1380/SB 185 Requires Sex Ed.: Referred to House Public Health and Senate Education Committees, Now Dormant.
  • HB 2418 Admitting privileges, 2nd trimester at hospital: On Senate Floor 3/4/14
  • HB 2684 Follow FDA guidelines on med. Abortion: No change.
  • HB 2685 Perinatal Hospice information requirement: No change
  • SB 2042 Repeal a law related to emergency contraception: Referred to Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Now Dormant.
  • HB 1765 Would Create Maternity Leave Act:  Referred to House Public Health Committee, Now Dormant.
  • HB 1025/2070 Criminalizes Embryonic Research: Referred to Public Health Committee, Now Dormant.
  • HB 2039 Prohibits OKHA clinics from providing EC: No change.
  • HJR 1020 Allows any person or entity to deny coverage for contraception, abortion or sterilization: No change.
  • HB 1029 Fetal Personhood bill: Referred to House Public Health Committee, Now Dormant.
  • HB 1849 Requires Pharmacies to refer for contraception: Referred to House Public Health Committee, Now Dormant.
  • SB 632 Creates 48 hour waiting period after parental notification for minors: Referred to Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Now Dormant
  • SB 2041 Mandates the timely processing of rape kits: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee, Now Dormant.
  • SB 1912 Creates regulations for surrogacy, donated eggs, and sperm: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee, Now Dormant.
  • SB 1848 Creates new standards for clinics and volunteers, adds hospital admitting privileges requirement: Passed Appropriations Committee  2/26/14, On Senate Floor.

We are particularly concerned about HB 2418 and SB 1848 as these bills would close 2 of 3 clinics providing abortion care unless the law is challenged. These laws have moved quickly and are very dangerous to abortion access in Oklahoma. 

Week of March 1, 2014

More information about these bills can be found on the Oklahoma Legislature website.

  • HB1380/SB 185 Requires Sex Ed.: No change.
  • HB 2418 Admitting privileges, 2nd trimester at hospital: Passed House 2/27/14,
  • HB 2684 Follow FDA guidelines on med. Abortion: No change.
  • HB 2685 Perinatal Hospice information requirement: No change
  • SB 2042 Repeal a law related to emergency contraception: No change.
  • HB 1765 Would Create Maternity Leave Act:  No change.
  • HB 1025/2070 Criminalizes Embryonic Research: Passed House 2/25/14. On Senate Floor 2/26/14.
  • HB 2039 Prohibits OKHA clinics from providing EC: Passed Public Health Committee 2/27/14.
  • HJR 1020/SJR 31 Allows any person or entity to deny coverage for contraception, abortion or sterilization: No change.
  • HB 1029 Fetal Personhood bill: No change.
  • HB 1849 Requires Pharmacies to refer for contraception: No change.
  • SB 632 Creates 48 hour waiting period after parental notification for minors: No change.
  • SB 2041 Mandates the timely processing of rape kits: No change.
  • SB 1912 Creates regulations for surrogacy, donated eggs, and sperm: No change.
  • SB 1848 Creates new standards for clinics and volunteers, adds hospital admitting privileges requirement: Passed Appropriations Committee  2/26/14, On Senate Floor.
We are particularly concerned about HB 2418 and SB 1848 as these bills would close 2 of 3 clinics providing abortion care unless the law is challenged. These laws have passed quickly and are very dangerous to abortion access in Oklahoma. 

Week of February 24, 2014

More information about these bills can be found on the Oklahoma Legislature website.

  • HB1380/SB 185 Requires Sex Ed.: No change.
  • HB 2418 Admitting privileges, 2nd trimester at hospital: On House Floor 2/25/14.
  • HB 2684 Follow FDA guidelines on med. Abortion: passed House Public House Committee on 2/18/14
  • HB 2685 Perinatal Hospice information requirement: Passed House 2/20/14. On Senate Floor 2/24/14.
  • SB 2042 Repeal a law related to emergency contraception: no change.
  • HB 1765 Would Create Maternity Leave Act:  no change.
  • HB 1025/2070 Criminalizes Embryonic Research: no change
  • HB 2039 Prohibits OKHA clinics from providing EC: no change
  • HJR 1020/SJR 31 Allows any person or entity to deny coverage for contraception, abortion or sterilization: Passed State’s Rights Committee 2/20/14
  • HB 1029 Fetal Personhood bill: no change
  • HB 1849 Requires Pharmacies to refer for contraception: no change
  • SB 632 Creates 48 hour waiting period after parental notification for minors: no change
  • SB 2041 Mandates the timely processing of rape kits: no change
  • SB 1912 Creates regulations for surrogacy, donated eggs, and sperm: no change
  • SB 1848 Creates new standards for clinics and volunteers, adds hospital admitting privileges requirement: Referred to Appropriations 2/18/14

Week of February 17, 2014

More information about these bills can be found on the Oklahoma Legislature website.

New bills to watch

HB 1024/2070 makes it a felony to perform any “non-therapeutic” research outside of a woman’s body on an embryo.  It passed the House Public Health committee on February 4: no change since 2/6/14.

HB 2039 prohibits OK Health Authority clinics from providing payment for emergency contraceptives: on House floor general order 2/6/14.

HJR 1020/SJR 31 allows any person or entity to deny coverage for contraception, abortion or sterilization: on House Floor, General Order as of 2/3/14.

HB 1029 is a fetal personhood bill and makes no statements excusing IVF or contraception; it does say it will not apply to spontaneous miscarriages.  It was referred to the House Public Health Committee on 2/5/13.

HB 1849 requires pharmacies to advice of other sources if unable to fill contraception RX in a timely manner: it was referred to the House Public Health Committee on 2/5/13.

SB 632 creates a 48 hour waiting period for minors after parental notification.  There is an exception for emancipated minors: referred to Senate Health and Human Services Committee on 2/5/13.

SB 2041 mandates the timely processing of rape kits: referred to Senate Judicial Committee on 2/4/14.

SB 1912 creates regulations for surrogacy, donated eggs, and sperm: referred to Senate Judicial Committee on 2/4/14.

SB 1848 creates new standards for abortion facilities, adds training requirements for volunteers, and requires a physician with admitting privileges stay at the clinic for the duration of the abortion procedure and recovery: passed Senate Health and Human Services Committee and moved to Senate floor on 2/17/14.

Previous bills

  • HB1380/SB 185 Requires Sex Ed.: No change.
  • HB 2418 Admitting privileges, 2nd trimester at hospital: passed House Public Health Committee on 2/4/14.
  • HB 2684 Follow FDA guidelines on med. Abortion: passed House Public House Committee on 2/4/14.
  • HB 2685 Perinatal Hospice information requirement: On House floor, General Order as of 2/11/14.
  • SB 2042 Repeal a law related to emergency contraception: no change.
  • HB 1765 Would Create Maternity Leave Act:  no change.

Week of February 10, 2014

  • HB 1380- No changes since last update
  • HB 1765- No changes since last update
  • SB 2042- No changes since last update
  • HB 2418- No changes since last update
  • HB 2684- No changes since last update
  • HB 2685- No changes since last update

Week of February 3, 2014

We are currently tracking a number of bills that relate to reproductive health care.  Some help create access; others restrict access.  We will be updating this information weekly.

HB 1380/SB 18 would require schools to offer medically-based sex education but would allow guardians to opt out their children. The purpose of the education would be to prevent pregnancy but would not be limited to abstinence.  This bill is a holdover from 2013. The bill has been introduced this session.  Last year, it was referred to the House Public Health Committee.

HB 1765 would create the Maternity Leave Act. There has not been any movement since last year.

SB 2042 would repeal a law related to emergency contraception.  It was introduced on 2/4/14 and referred to the Health and Human Services Committee.

HB2418 requires all physicians that provide abortion care to have admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles of the office or clinic. The bill would also require that all abortions after the first trimester to be performed in a hospital.  This bill has been referred to the House Public Health Committee.

HB 2684 is designed to overrule Clive V. OCRJ and requires doctors to follow the FDA protocol with medication abortion.  This would require patients make an unnecessary additional visit as well as requiring patients to take a higher dose of medication than has been found to be medically necessary.  It also restricts medication abortion to before around 7 weeks even though medical evidence has shown that the method is still effective at 9 weeks gestation.  This law was already found to be unconstitutional because it would make access to medication abortion practically nonexistent.  The bill has been referred to the House Public Health Committee.

HB 2685 passed the House Public Health Committee on 2/4/14.  This bill requires that physicians offer a pregnant person who is carrying a fetus with anomalies information about perinatal hospice services even though there are no perinatal hospice programs in Oklahoma.  It also requires that this information be available in writing to the patient.  The bill also requires physicians to report to the state the number of people they provided with this information.  It is unlikely that there would be very many abortions in the state due to fetal anomalies since abortion is banned after 20 weeks.

Week of May 27, 2013

  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 185 since last update.
  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 452 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1021 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1029 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1316 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1380 since last update.
  • On Monday, May 20 House Bill 1588 was enrolled and signed to the Senate. It was then enrolled, signed, and retured to the House.  It was sent to the Governor and approved on Friday, May 24, 2013.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1849 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1918 since last update.
  • House Bill 2015 was approved by the Governor on Thursday, May 16, 2013.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2039 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Joint Resolution 1020 since the last update.

Week of May 6, 2013

  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 185 since last update.
  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 452 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1021 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1029 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1316 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1380 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1588 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1849 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1918 since last update.
  • On Thursday, May 9, House Bill 2015 was adopted and the measure was passed 77-13. It was referred for enrollment and Coauthored by Representative Kern and Senator Johnson (Constance).
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2039 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Joint Resolution 1020 since the last update.

Week of April 29, 2013

  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 185 since last update.
  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 452 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1021 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1029 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1316 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1380 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1588 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1849 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1918 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2015 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2039 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Joint Resolution 1020 since the last update.

Week of April 22, 2013

  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 185 since last update.
  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 452 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1021 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1029 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1316 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1380 since last update.
  • On Tuesday, April 16 House Bill 1588 was considered in General Order and coauthored by Shortey. The measure passed 41-5 and was referred for engrossment.  It was engrossed to the House and SA’s received on Wednesday, April 17.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1849 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1918 since last update.
  • On Tuesday, April 16 House Bill 2015 was considered in General Order and amended.  The title was restored and the measure passed 39-7, the bill was then referred for engrossment.  It was engrossed to the House and SA’s receive on Wednesday, April 17.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2039 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Joint Resolution 1020 since the last update.

Week of April 15, 2013

  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 185 since last update.
  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 452 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1021 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1029 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1316 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1380 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1588 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1849 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1918 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2015 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2039 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Joint Resolution 1020 since the last update.

Week of April 8, 2013

  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 185 since last update.
  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 452 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1021 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1029 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1316 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1380 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1588 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1849 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1918 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2015 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2039 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Joint Resolution 1020 since the last update.

Week of April 1, 2013

  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 185 since last update.
  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 452 since last update.
  • House Bill 1021 was coauthored by Sykes on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1029 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1316 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1380 since last update.
  • On Monday, April 1, 2013 House Bill 1588 Reported Do Pass.  It was amended by committee substitute Health and Human Services committee.  And CR was filed.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1849 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1918 since last update.
  • House Bill 2015 Reported Do Pass.  It was amended by committee substitute Health and Human Services committee.  And CR was filed.  Title stricken.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2039 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Joint Resolution 1020 since the last update.

Week of March 25, 2013

  • There has been no change on House Joint Resolution 1020 since the last update.
  • House Bill 1021 was withdrawn from Rules committee and then referred to Appropriations on Tuesday, March 26.  As of Thursday, March 28 it is pending coauthorship Senator(s) Sykes.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2015 since the last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1316 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1588 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1380 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1849 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1029 since last update.
  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 185 since last update.
  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 452 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2039 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1918 since last update.

Week of March 18, 2013

  • There has been no change on House Joint Resolution 1020 since the last update. This legislation would prohibit any employer or person that provides health care from being compelled to provide coverage for specifically: abortion, contraception, or sterilization, as it may go against their religious or moral beliefs.
  • The second reading on House Bill 1021 was referred to Rules Committee then to Appropriations Committee on March 21, 2013. This legislation finds that the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” and the “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010” as passed by President Obama have been found “null and void” in the state of Oklahoma due to its violation of the 10’th amendment of the US Constitution, and the right to do so is provided by the 9th amendment of the US constitution.
  • Any corporation providing services that enforce any sort of legislation in violation of this act will be found guilty of a felony and can be punished with a fine of no more than $5,000 or imprisonment of up to 5 years!  The same applies to any public officer or employee of the State of Oklahoma and is punishable by imprisonment of up to 2 years and/or a fine of $1,000.
  • The second reading on House Bill 2015 was referred to Health and Human Services on March 21, 2013. This bill added more questions regarding sex of aborted fetus and procedures used for physicians to fill out after performing abortions.  Questions regarding the gestational age are removed.  There are additional consequences added if the physician does not submit this information properly within 20 days after each fiscal month allowing the court to sue.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1316 since last update. Before performing an abortion the physician must have proof that the female is not a minor, or if she is a minor has been emancipated by court of law.  If the minor is not emancipated, then she must provide parental consent from a lawful parent or guardian and even then the guardian must provide paperwork ensuing they are indeed responsible for that minor.
  • —If one of the following conditions are met, then the minor does not need written consent from a parent in order to receive an abortion: (1) the minor is in a state of medical emergency, however, within 24 hours after the procedure a parent must be notified (2) if the minor is a victim of sexual abuse.  Also, the court may require that a minor receive with a mental health professional from the State Department of Health before determining whether or not the unemancipated minor may receive an abortion.  The purpose of this is to protect the rights of the minor and ensuring that they are not being threatened or coerced into making the decision to abort the fetus, and that they are mature enough to understand the risks and options available to her.
  • —The legislation does include a section where the minor’s financial stability is evaluated and in cases where the unemancipated minor shows intellectual competence in making such a decision, is financially independent, and has lived away from home for a length of time that ensures they are capable.  If the court rules that notifying the parents is not in the best interest of the minor then they may rule against receiving parental consent for abortion.
  • The second reading for House Bill 1588 was referred to Health and Human Services on March 21, 2013 This legislation applies to any stage of fetus from fertilization until birth.  Basically, an abortion cannot be performed on an unemancipated minor until at least forty-eight hours after written notice of the pending abortion has been delivered to them via mail.  This law is excused and immediate notification can be postponed to twenty-four hours after the procedure is performed in the case of a medical emergency.  This law is also excused if the pregnant female declares that she is a victim of sexual assault.  In this case, law enforcement has to investigate it and ensure to the best of their abilities that her parents will not find out about her attempt at an abortion.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1380 since last update. This bill states that the school can introduce a sexual education curriculum with the purpose of providing medically accurate, factual information that is age-appropriate and designed to reduce factors and behavior associated with unintended pregnancy, including but not limited to the teaching of abstinence. Parents must be notified before the curriculum begins and have the right to inspect the material before it is presented to their child. If they do not approve, they may provide a written objection to the curriculum and the child will be excused from participation.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1849 since last update. All pharmacies will be required to have posted conspicuously in any area where prescriptions are to be picked up a sign, 8.5×11 inches, “IF YOU USE PRESCRIPTION CONTRACEPTIVE DRUGS OR DEVICES, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS”.
  • —Pharmacies must dispense lawful, valid, prescription for contraceptives within the normal timeframe of any other prescription. If the pharmacy is out-of-stock then they must refer you to a pharmacy that had the prescription available or take measures to order that particular drug in the same time frame as they would any other drug.
  • —The only ways a pharmacy may deny a person from receiving their prescription is the drug or device will cause other health problems such as drug interactions, drug allergy, drug abuse, and such which applies to other prescriptions. Also, as long as a valid prescription is provided, the pharmacy has to give you multiple packages upon request. This law states that every licensed pharmacy must ensure that it does not intimidate, threaten, or harass any person requesting contraceptives! If at any time a pharmacy does not comply with this law then a complaint may be filed and the court could choose to deny their relicensing.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1029 since last update. The bill offers no exceptions in the case of a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest and could mean some forms of contraception will no longer be available for Oklahomans. This law is particularly aimed at preventing abortions, which is illuminated by its stressing that parents that unknowingly harm their unborn child are exempt from persecution as well as spontaneous miscarriages.
  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 185 since last update. Similar to House Bill 1380, parents still have the right to exclude their children from participation in this curriculum by written objection. The curriculum has been revised to ensure that medically accurate, factual, age-appropriate information will be used to reduce behavior associated with unintended pregnancy. This curriculum will include, but is not limited to, abstinence.
  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 452 since last update. This new law states that employers are not required to provide or pay for any services related to abortion or contraceptives through provision of health insurance to employees.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2039 since last update. This bill would prohibit Health Care Authority (OHCA) from providing payment and/or discontinue reimbursement for the “morning-after pill.”
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1918 since last update. This bill provides a corporate income tax deduction for any private business fined by the federal government for making a conscious business decision to not provide contraceptives to their employees, as required by the Affordable Care Act.  The deduction amount will be based the total amount fined; however,  businesses that do not offer health care to their employees, and are penalized as a result, are not eligible to claim the deduction.

Week of March 11, 2013

  • There has been no change on House Joint Resolution 1020 since the last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1021 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 2015 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1316 since last update.
  • Representative Hamilton introduced House Bill 1588 on 2/4/13.  It was refered to the Public Health Committee on 2/5/13.  It was amended and coauthored by Representatives Houbert and Ritze on 2/18/13.  It passed the committee on the same day.  There has been no change on this bill since that date.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1380 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1849 since last update.
  • There has been no change on House Bill 1029 since last update.  It is still in committee.
  • There has been no change on Senate Bill 185 since last update.
  • On 2/5/13, Senate Bill 452 was referred to the Business and Commerce Committee.  Senator Peterson coauthored it on 2/18/13.  It passed the Business and Commerce Committee and the committee resolution was filed on 2/21/13.
  • Representative Shannon introduced House Bill 2039 on 2/4.  The Public Health committee heard the bill on 2/5.  It passed and was amended by the Public Health Committee on 2/27.  Representative Ritze also coauthored it on that day.  This bill would prohibit the use of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority funds to pay for emergency contraception.
  • Representative Shannon introduced House Bill 1918 on 2/4/2013.  On 2/5, it was referred to Appropriations and Budget.  On 2/26, Representative Kern cosponsored it.  The bill passed the Appropriations and Budget Committee on 2/26/13.  There has been no new action since that date.  House Bill 1918 grants tax deductions to companies who are paying fines for non-compliance with the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

Week of February 18, 2013

House Joint Resolution No. 1021 by Blackwell Opposition of No person is to be compelled to provide coverage for abortion and/or other procedures that go against religious or moral beliefs.

Effective: Do Pass States’ Rights Committee and Coauthored by Representative Moore on February 20, 2013

            This legislation would prohibit any employer or person that provides health care from being compelled to provide coverage for specifically: abortion, contraception, or sterilization, as it may go against their religious or moral beliefs. 

House Bill No. 1021 by Ritze Opposition of “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” and the “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010” as passed by President Obama

Effective: Do Pass, amended by committee substitute Public Health Committee, and Coauthored by Representative(s) Reynolds, Murphey, Bennett on February 25, 2013

            This legislation finds that the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” and the “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010” as passed by President Obama have been found “null and void” in the state of Oklahoma due to its violation of the 10’th amendment of the US Constitution, and the right to do so is provided by the 9th amendment of the US constitution.

Any corporation providing services that enforce any sort of legislation in violation of this act will be found guilty of a felony and can be punished with a fine of no more than $5,000 or imprisonment of up to 5 years!  The same applies to any public officer or employee of the State of Oklahoma and is punishable by imprisonment of up to 2 years and/or a fine of $1,000.

House Bill No. 2015 by Roberts (Sean) Annual Abortion Report: Statistical Abortion Reporting Act

Effective:  Do Pass: amended by committee substitute Public Health Committee, Coauthored by Representative Ritze, Authored by Senator Loveless (principal Senate author) on February 18, 2013

This bill added more questions regarding sex of aborted fetus and procedures used for physicians to fill out after performing abortions.  Questions regarding the gestational age are removed.  There are additional consequences added if the physician does not submit this information properly within 20 days after each fiscal month allowing the court to sue.

House Bill No. 1361 by Greu Parental Consent for Abortion

Effective:  Do Pass Public Health Committee (02/18/2013); Coauthored by Representative Ritze February  18, 2013

            Before performing an abortion the physician must have proof that the female is not a minor, or if she is a minor has been emancipated by court of law.  If the minor is not emancipated, then she must provide parental consent from a lawful parent or guardian and even then the guardian must provide paperwork ensuing they are indeed responsible for that minor.

If one of the following conditions are met, then the minor does not need written consent from a parent in order to receive an abortion: (1) the minor is in a state of medical emergency, however, within 24 hours after the procedure a parent must be notified (2) if the minor is a victim of sexual abuse.  Also, the court may require that a minor receive with a mental health professional from the State Department of Health before determining whether or not the unemancipated minor may receive an abortion.  The purpose of this is to protect the rights of the minor and ensuring that they are not being threatened or coerced into making the decision to abort the fetus, and that they are mature enough to understand the risks and options available to her.

The legislation does include a section where the minor’s financial stability is evaluated and in cases where the unemancipated minor shows intellectual competence in making such a decision, is financially independent, and has lived away from home for a length of time that ensures they are capable.  If the court rules that notifying the parents is not in the best interest of the minor then they may rule against receiving parental consent for abortion.

House Bill No. 1588 by Hamilton on Parental Notification for Abortion Act

Effective:  November 1, 2013- Authored by Senator Griffin (principal Senate author)

This legislation applies to any stage of fetus from fertilization until birth.  Basically, an abortion cannot be performed on an unemancipated minor until at least forty-eight hours after written notice of the pending abortion has been delivered to them via mail.  This law is excused and immediate notification can be postponed to twenty-four hours after the procedure is performed in the case of a medical emergency.  This law is also excused if the pregnant female declares that she is a victim of sexual assault.  In this case, law enforcement has to investigate it and ensure to the best of their abilities that her parents will not find out about her attempt at an abortion.

Week of February 4-8th, 2013

First week of session in Oklahoma and the legislators got straight to work… for better or worse.  Here’s a list of bills that were introduced that we are tracking:

House Bill No. 1380 by Virgin on Sexual Education Curriculum

This bill states that the school can introduce a sexual education curriculum with the purpose of providing medically accurate, factual information that is age-appropriate and designed to reduce factors and behavior associated with unintended pregnancy, including but not limited to the teaching of abstinence.

Parents must be notified before the curriculum begins and have the right to inspect the material before it is presented to their child. If they do not approve, they may provide a written objection to the curriculum and the child will be excused from participation.

House Bill No. 1849 by Shelton “If You Use Prescription Contraceptive Drugs or Devices, Know Your Rights”

All pharmacies will be required to have posted conspicuously in any area where prescriptions are to be picked up a sign, 8.5X11 inches, “IF YOU USE PRESCRIPTION CONTRACEPTIVE DRUGS OR DEVICES, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS”.

Pharmacies must dispense lawful, valid, prescription for contraceptives within the normal timeframe of any other prescription. If the pharmacy is out-of-stock then they must refer you to a pharmacy that had the prescription available or take measures to order that particular drug inthe same time frame as they would any other drug.

The only ways a pharmacy may deny a person from receiving their prescription is the drug or device will cause other health problems such as drug interactions, drug allergy, drug abuse, and such which applies to other prescriptions. Also, as long as a valid prescription is provided, the pharmacy has to give you multiple packages upon request. This law states that every licensed pharmacy must ensure that it does not intimidate, threaten, or harass any person requesting contraceptives! If at any time a pharmacy does not comply with this law then a complaint may be filed and the court could choose to deny their relicensing.

Senate Bill No. 185 by Paddack on Sexual Education Curriculum

Similar to House Bill 1380, parents still have the right to exclude their children from participation in this curriculum by written objection. The curriculum has been revised to ensure that medically accurate, factual, age-appropriate information will be used to reduce behavior associated with unintended pregnancy. This curriculum will include, but is not limited to, abstinence.

House Bill No. 1029 by Reynolds Personhood Act of 2013

Personhood rears its ugly head again. The bill offers no exceptions in the case of a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest and could mean some forms of contraception will no longer be available for Oklahomans. This law is particularly aimed at preventing abortions, which is illuminated by its stressing that parents that unknowingly harm their unborn child are exempt from persecution as well as spontaneous miscarriages.

House Bill No. 1361 by Greu Parental Consent for Abortion

Before performing an abortion the physician must have proof that the female is not a minor, or if she is a minor has been emancipated by court of law. If the minor is not emancipated, then she must provide parental consent from a lawful parent or guardian; even
then, the guardian must provide paperwork ensuing they are indeed responsible for that minor.

If one of the following conditions are met, then the minor does not need written consent from a parent in order to receive an abortion: (1) the minor is in a state of medical emergency, however, within 24 hours after the procedure a parent must be notified (2) if the minor is a victim of sexual abuse. Also, the court may require that a minor receive with a mental health professional from the State Department of Health before determining whether or not the minor may receive an abortion. The purpose of this is to protect the rights of the
minor and ensuring that they are not being threatened or coerced into making the decision to abort the fetus, and that they are mature enough to understand the risks and options available to her.

The legislation includes a section where the minors financial stability is evaluated and in cases where the unemancipated minor shows intellectual competence in making such a decision, is financially independent, and has lived away from home for a length of time that ensures they are capable. If the court rules that notifying the parents is not in the best interest of the minor then they may rule against receiving parental consent for abortion.

Senate Bill No. 452 by Jolley on Employer insurance provisions regarding abortion or contraceptives

This new law states that employers are not required to provide or pay for any services related to abortion or contraceptives through provision of health insurance to employees.

House Bill No. 2015 by Roberts (Sean) Annual Abortion Report: Statistical Abortion Reporting Act

This bill added more questions regarding sex of aborted fetus and procedures used for physicians to fill out after performing abortions. Questions regarding the gestational age are removed. There are additional consequences added if the physician does not submit this information properly within 20 days after each fiscal month allowing the court to sue.

House Bill No. 1021 by Ritze Opposition of “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” and the “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010” as passes by President Obama

This legislation finds that the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” and the “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010” as passed by President Obama have been found “null and void” in the state of Oklahoma due to its violation of the 10’th amendment of the US Constitution, and the right to do so is provided by the 9th amendment of the US constitution.

Any corporation providing services that enforce any sort of legislation in violation of this act will be found guilty of a felony and can be punished with a fine of no more than $5,000 or imprisonment of up to 5 years! The same applies to any public officer or employee of the State of Oklahoma and is punishable by imprisonment of up to 2 years and/or a fine of $1,000.

Week of January 21-25th, 2013

As session gears up to start next week, we are keeping our eye on several bills.  First, the good news: there are a few pro-reproductive health bills being proposed.  House Bill 1380 and Senate Bill 185 clarify that districts teaching sexual education are not limited to abstinence-only.  House Bill 1859 requires pharmacies that do not carry contraceptives or that refuse to dispense must refer patients to a place that does administer contraceptives.

Unfortunately, personhood is reappearing again in House Bill 1029, even though the last year’s incarnation of it, Senate Bill 1433 was not heard on the House floor due to objections from Republican leadership.  Additionally, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled last year that personhood initiatives would not be permitted as a ballot measure in the 2012 election or any future elections.  It seems unlikely that personhood will see much success in 2013, but we will continue to follow it’s progress (or lack thereof) in the coming weeks.

Oklahoma will also see an attempt to ban insurance coverage of abortion (Senate Bill 452), as well as a couple bills that seek create more barriers to minors seeking an abortion (House Bill 2015 and House Bill 1361).

Week of April 30-May 4th, 2012

This week Oklahoma legislation continues to pass items that affect women’s reproductive rights. Governor Mary Fallin approved House Bill 2381, which requires a physician to be physically present when prescribing RU-486, as well as Senate Bill 1274, which requires doctors to inform a woman she has the right to hear the fetal heartbeat prior to an abortion. She signed both of these into Oklahoma Law. Also, the House concurred in Senate Amendments 89 to 0 on House Bill 2561, civil action against abortion providers, and is now sent to Governor Fallin. There is good news though, the Supreme Court has moved to deny Oklahoma citizens their right to a ballot access initiative for Personhood, which ultimately kills Personhood in Oklahoma.

Week of April 23-April 27th, 2012

Legislators were busy this week passing bills that will not only affect women, but thier doctors as well. House Bill 2561, civil action against abortion providers, passed the Senate with a vote of 33 to 9. After being amended, House Bill 2381, which requires a physician to be physically present when prescribing RU-486 to a patient, also passed the Senate this week with a vote of 32 to 9. Governor Fallin should see them on her desk the first part of next week and is expected to sign them, continuing the War on Women in Oklahoma.

Week of April 16-April 20th, 2012

After a large number of amendments this week in Oklahoma, Rep. Kris Steel, the Speaker of the House, announced that SB 1433 (Personhood Act) will not be heard on the House floor. This will essentially kill the bill.

Unfortunately, SB 1274 (Heartbeat Informed Consent Act) passed the House this week and will soon go to Governor Mary Fallin, who is expected to sign the bill.

Also in Oklahoma, HB 1970 (Medical Abortion Law), which passed in 2011, should come to a ruling soon and will hopefully be overturned.

Week of April 9-April 13th, 2012

Not much is happening in Oklahoma legislation this week, since the lawsuit against Personhood Oklahoma is holding things up. However, Senators Shorty and Johnson were on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to discuss “Personhood”. Earlier in session Johnson put forth an amendment that would prohibit men from depositing semen anywhere other than a woman’s vagina. Shorty’s commented on this amendment saying it was, “embarrassing and ridiculous”. This is because, “the government is telling a man what he can and cannot do with his body”. This is quite an interesting comment coming from a lawmaker that is trying to control the bodies of women in Oklahoma. Why should men be treated any different than women when it comes to personal choices, especially since they are half the reason life begins in the first place? I believe this is what Johnson was trying to say with this amendment, since “Personhood” itself is ridiculous. Here’s the link to this humorous segment in The Daily Show. Enjoy! http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-11-2012/bro-choice

Week of April 2-April 6th, 2012

After being referred to the senate appropriations committee in Oklahoma, HB 2381 which requires a physician to be physically present when prescribing RU-486, passed as amended in the committee. It is now pending Committee Review.

HB 2561, civil actions against abortion provider, passed the senate judiciary committee and is now pending Committee Review as well.

Week of March 26-March 30th, 2012

SB 1274 (Fetal Heartbeat Informed Consent Act) was passed by the House Public Health Committee this week, along with SB 1433 (Personhood Act) after it was amended. The author, House Representative Lisa Billy, created exceptions for IVF and contraception in this amendment, even though it does not clearly define these. This is bill would still be hindering women’s reproductive rights and still fails to consider the survivors of rape and incest that will no longer have the option of abortion in Oklahoma.

In some good news for once, Judge Dixon declared The Ultrasound Act Unconstitutional. The Ultrasound Act was approved in 2010 when the Republican-controlled Oklahoma Senate overrode a veto issued by then-Gov. Brad Henry. The law was immediately blocked by a temporary injunction and never was enforced.  The ruling on Wednesday by Oklahoma County District Judge Bryan Dixon said the law violates the state constitution because it is a “special law” that treats abortion differently than other medical procedures. However, Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt said he plans to appeal the ruling. The court battle has already cost Oklahoma taxpayers $145,000.

Week of March 19th-March 23rd, 2012

This week in terrible legislative news, House Bill 2381 went through the house for a second reading this week and was referred to the Health and Human services committee then it will be referred to the Appropriation committee. House Bill 2381 makes it illegal for a Doctor to prescribe RU-486 to a patient unless the Doctor is in the room. This is referred to as telemedicine, which is the use of telecommunication in order to provide health care. Telemedicine is a much needed and brilliant way for patients and Doctors to communicate. Many times there are barriers, such as distance, disability, and transportation that do not allow a person to have consistent access to a provider and telemedicine fills that void. This bill singles out abortion health care via telemedicine. It is quick to criminalize the Doctor prescribing the medicine and would also allow the ‘father or grandparents of the unborn baby’ to file a civil lawsuit against the Doctor if the Doctor is found guilty of prescribing RU-486 through telemedicine. Just another way for lawmakers to get in the way of women and their Doctors.

Week of March 12-March 16th, 2012

This week House Bill 2561 passed 76 to 10. The bill is authored by Representative Wesselhoft (R-Moore) and states that a person can take civil action against a Doctor that performs abortions if that person feels the Dr. has ‘tricked’ them into having an abortion. Yes, Wesselhoft actually said that. We believe that women know what they are doing when they have an abortion and we do not believe a Doctor is out to ‘trick’ a patient into having one. The bill is problematic on many levels but especially because it also allows a person to sue a hospital or agency that made a referral to that Doctor. This could lead to few or no abortion referrals in Oklahoma, which is essentially what the author and co-authors of the bill are really after.

Week of March 5-March 8th, 2012

The war on women continues this week after Oklahoma legislation passed the second anti-abortion bill. After amending the original version of the bill that required a woman to hear the fetal heartbeat prior to an abortion, author of the bill Senator Dan Newberry changed the measure by requiring an abortion provider to inform a patient of her right to hear the heartbeat. The measure passed the Senate with 34-8 vote and will now go to the House, where the majority of the legislators are anti-choice Republicans.

Personhood Oklahoma, an anti-choice organization, is trying to get 155,000 signatures to put their petition on the November ballot. This would declare any fertilized egg a person and would prohibit the killing of any “person” without due process of law. The ballot initiative can be defeated by voters, as we saw in Mississippi this past year.

Week of February 27th-March 2nd, 2012

Over 500 Oklahoma citizens gathered at the Capitol last Tuesday for the “Barefoot and Pregnant” rally to protest the slew ‘Personhood’ bills making their way through our capitol.  Shoes filled the steps of the Capitol and signs were held proudly to let it be known that legislators are invading the personal lives of Oklahomans. Many people stepped up to tell their stories and spoke about their frustrations concerning these bills. Trust Women Intern, Molly Oakley, made a phenomenal speech asking everyone to trust women and the decisions they are capable of making.

 

Week of February 20-24th, 2012

One Personhood bill that won’t advance in Oklahoma (but there’s still another one out there!) House Joint Resolution 1067, a bill that proposed a ballot measure that would criminalize abortion by granting personhood status to a human embryo won’t advance this year.  Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, said that Rep. Gary Banz, R-Midwest City, the chairman of the House Rules Committee told him that his committee will not hear the measure. House Joint Resolution 1067 would ban birth control methods or in vitro fertilization that “kills a person,” according to the measure. It also states there would be no exceptions for pregnancies that occur as a result of rape or incest. However, this hasn’t been put to rest. Reynolds said a Tulsa chapter of a national group, Personhood USA, will announce Thursday plans to hold a signature drive to place the proposal on the ballot.

Week of February 13 – 17, 2012

On Wednesday, Feb. 15 the Personhood Bill passed the Oklahoma Senate 34-8, stating that a human fetus or embryo is a “person”, beginning at the point of conception. While the bill is currently being held with a motion to reconsider, it just needs to pass the House and be signed into law by Republican Governor Mary Fallin and would take effect November 1, 2012. This is a dangerous bill with real life consequences that will affect people across the board. Trust Women, along with other organizations, will be at the Take Root Conference Feb 24-25 where personhood along with other Reproductive Justice topics will be discussed. We would love to see you there!

Week of February 6-10, 2012:

Oklahoma Senate Panel Approves Personhood Bill

SB 1433 passed the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on Monday, February 6, 2012.

The bill states that “Life begins at conception and unborn children have protectable interest in life, health and well-being”. The bill is authored  by Senator Brian Crain (R-Tulsa) and passed 5-2 this past Monday, the first day of legislative session.

Crain stated to the Tulsa World that the bill “would not make women subject to homicide or manslaughter charges for seeking an abortion because abortion is allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court”.

What would SB 1433 actually do? For starters, no person would be able to obtain a legal abortion in Oklahoma if this passes. It would outlaw certain forms of birth control, such as the “morning after” pill (aka Plan B) and intrauterine devices. Crain left the language so vague that it could also outlaw oral contraception and in-vitro fertilization.

Then what is this bill for? Crain says it’s to announce that Oklahoma is a ‘pro-life’ state. Lawmakers know that they cannot seek to outlaw abortion, they have tried before and failed. As Crain said himself, abortion is a right established by the U.S. Supreme Court. The best way to try to outlaw abortion is to attack it from different sides. Right now, personhood is rigor du jour, next year it could be TRAP laws (Targeted Regulations against Abortion Providers). Since there have been eight bills limiting reproductive agency introduced just this session, it’s safe to say that some lawmakers do not value reproductive justice in Oklahoma.

Megan, who is a Trust Women Intern, gathered with supporters at the Oklahoma City capitol for a silent protest on Thursday, February 9, 2012, when the Senate Committee was set to vote on SB 1433.  After an hour an a half, the Senate adjourned without a vote and will reconvene Monday afternoon, February 13, 2012.

Week of January 23-27, 2012:

State Senator Shortey of Oklahoma proposed SB 1418 that would ban the use of aborted fetuses in food. Simply, this is absurdity at its best.

Week of April 4-9, 2011:

HB 1888 has passed the Oklahoma Legislature and is waiting for the signature of the Governor.  This bill would ban abortion during the second trimester of pregnancy regardless of an individual woman’s circumstances and health needs. This is a pre-viability ban.

HB 1970 is currently in Committee, but could quite possibly become law.  This bill would turn back the clock on medical practice, making it a crime to provide safe, legal medical abortion under a protocol that is based on scientific, medical evidence, denying women in Oklahoma access to what is standard medical practice nationwide – and what they and their physician believe is the best abortion procedure for them.

SB 547 remains in Committee but could quite possibly become law.  This bill would remove important exceptions in existing law that currently allow rape and incest victims to obtain insurance coverage for abortion – this bill would actually make it impossible for insurers to offer insurance coverage for abortion in the cases of rape and incest unless the woman bought a separate policy just for abortion before the crime occurred.

HB 1571 remains in Committee but could quite possibly become law.  This bill appears to be an attempt to amend Oklahoma statutes to declare that life begins at fertilization and to consider “persons” from the point of fertilization to have inalienable rights.  The language of this bill is vague, but could be read to affect the availability of abortion, contraception and assisted reproductive technologies, like in-vitro fertilization, in the state of Oklahoma, as well as impacting hundreds, if not thousands, of state laws.

Week of March 13-19, 2011:

  • HB 1442 was voted and passed on St. Patrick’s Day with a margin of 86 to 8.  The measure would make it a crime to conduct research and would prohibit buying, selling or transferring an embryo for research; in turn, this legislation would prohibit embryonic stem cell research.
  • This legislation would have a huge negative impact to the medical research facilities in the state. TheGreater Oklahoma City Chamberreleased a study last month that showed the bioscience sector contributes $6.7 billion in economic activity to the region, supports 51,000 jobs earning $2.2 billion in employee compensation.  With our economy in recovery mode, why would anyone want to jeopardize jobs and contribute to economic loss because of their political ideology?
  • Additionally, receiving it’s first reading this week was HB 1642, which would modify requirements for persons allowed to perform or induce abortions.  Several more anti-choice bills have been referred to committee. For more information, click here.

Week of February 21-25, 2011:

Week of February 7-11, 2011:

Week of January 31-February 4, 2011:

  • Here are the summaries of the legislation introduced in Oklahoma concerning women’s welfare and reproductive health care (courtesy of Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma).

Week of January 17-21, 2011:

  • This week, there were 18 pieces of legislation concerning abortion introduced to meet the January 20th legislative filing deadline.  Session begins February 9th.  Currently, we’re going through the text of the legislation to see what measures are being introduced.
  • An anti-choice group has proclaimed that Oklahoma has the most restrictive anti-abortion laws.
  • In May 2010, a judge block the enforcement of the ultrasound law temporarily, finding in favor of the lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights that says the law is unconstitutional.  Oral arguments are scheduled for Friday, Jan. 21, in the motion filed by anti-choice groups seeking to intervene in the lawsuit.  Update: The judge has ruled that the American Victims of Abortion can assist the Oklahoma attorney general’s office in defending the new law,though the judge also rejected similar intervention requests from the Justice Foundation and three Oklahoma women who said they had traumatic experiences involving abortion and wanted to support the ultrasound law.

Week of January 10-14, 2011:

  • SB 186 has been introduced and would make any scientific research of embryo, fetus, or fetal parts unlawful.
  • The Republican leadership in the state legislatures announce an aggressive platform targeting women’s health and reproductive rights.

Week of February 6-10, 2012:

Oklahoma Senate Panel Approves Personhood Bill

SB 1433 passed the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on Monday, February 6, 2012.

The bill states that “Life begins at conception and unborn children have protectable interest in life, health and well-being”. The bill is authored  by Senator Brian Crain (R-Tulsa) and passed 5-2 this past Monday, the first day of legislative session.

Crain stated to the Tulsa World that the bill “would not make women subject to homicide or manslaughter charges for seeking an abortion because abortion is allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court”.

What would SB 1433 actually do? For starters, no person would be able to obtain a legal abortion in Oklahoma if this passes. It would outlaw certain forms of birth control, such as the “morning after” pill (aka Plan B) and intrauterine devices. Crain left the language so vague that it could also outlaw oral contraception and in-vitro fertilization.

Then what is this bill for? Crain says it’s to announce that Oklahoma is a ‘pro-life’ state. Lawmakers know that they cannot seek to outlaw abortion, they have tried before and failed. As Crain said himself, abortion is a right established by the U.S. Supreme Court. The best way to try to outlaw abortion is to attack it from different sides. Right now, personhood is rigor du jour, next year it could be TRAP laws (Targeted Regulations against Abortion Providers). Since there have been eight bills limiting reproductive agency introduced just this session, it’s safe to say that some lawmakers do not value reproductive justice in Oklahoma.

Megan, who is a Trust Women Intern, gathered with supporters at the Oklahoma City capitol for a silent protest on Thursday, February 9, 2012, when the Senate Committee was set to vote on SB 1433.  After an hour an a half, the Senate adjourned without a vote and will reconvene Monday afternoon, February 13, 2012.