Oklahoma Governor signs bill requiring 72-hour waiting period for abortion

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law Wednesday a bill that makes Oklahoma the fourth state in the nation to require a 72-hour waiting period prior to having an abortion. The law, House Bill 1409, goes into effect on November 1, though it’s likely to face legal battles from the abortion industry over the next six months.

Joining Missouri, South Dakota, and Utah, the bill seeks to make more information available to women who are considering abortion. National Right to Life reports:

“Tony Lauinger, State Chairman of Oklahomans For Life, explained that HB 1409 improves Oklahoma’s current abortion-informed-consent law by increasing from 24 hours to 72 hours the waiting period before an abortion, by requiring that abortion facilities, on their websites, link to the state’s Woman’s Right to Know website, and by providing that mothers considering abortion be informed that ‘abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.’

“’The purpose of the law,’ he added, ‘is to provide a better opportunity for adequate reflection – following receipt of informed-consent information about risks, alternatives, and the development of the unborn child – before undertaking the irrevocable act of taking a child’s life.'”

The bill’s sponsor, pro-life Representative Lisa Billy, also said:

“I just think before you have any kind of surgery you need to have all the information in your hand before you make that irrevocable decision…. Unfortunately abortion clinics have not historically provided facts and information to women. I’m very pro-life. Anytime a woman makes a decision, she needs to have all that information in her hand prior to making a decision that will take the life of an unborn, separate, unique human being from her.”

Billy also noted that adoption should be presented as an option. This bill seeks to increase wait time not to hurt a woman, but to ensure she has adequate time to consider options and not be rushed into a decision that is irreversible.

Oklahoma, ranked as a top pro-life state, may move above its current number four ranking, not only for HB 1409, but for passing the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act last month. Oklahoma is the only state besides Kansas that bans dilation and evacuation abortions (D&E), which occur in the second trimester. Both laws are set to take effect November 1.

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