UPDATE, 4/27/21: Governor Kevin Stitt signed three of the pro-life bills into law on Monday – HB 2441, HB 1102, and HB 1904. The Christian Post reports that HB 2441 – the ‘heartbeat bill’ – “bans abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected, except for a life-threatening medical emergency for the mother. The bill does not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest.” SB778, a bill passed by the Legislature which would mandate the in-person distribution of the abortion pill, still awaits the governor’s signature.
4/24/21: Oklahoma legislators have taken a big step in reducing the number of abortions in the state, passing three pro-life bills this week. All three are now headed to Governor Kevin Stitt’s desk, who has previously said that he would sign any anti-abortion legislation.
The first bill, HB 2441, is the state’s version of a “heartbeat bill,” which prohibits abortion once a heartbeat is detected (usually around six weeks). The bill stipulates that any doctor found violating the prohibition will be guilty of homicide, although it does provide concessions in the event that the mother would suffer death or “serious and irreversible physical impairment.”
“This is simple and straightforward, but essential to Oklahoma’s efforts to protect the unborn,” said Sen. Julie Daniels, who introduced the bill in the Senate. “The child’s heartbeat is proof of life. This bill provides the legal authority necessary to protect and save that life.”
The next pro-life bill to pass was HB 1102, which classifies abortion as “unprofessional conduct.” Any doctor found committing an abortion that is not medically necessary will have their medical license revoked for at least one year.
HB 1904 mandates that only board-certified OBGYNs can commit abortions. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Cynthia Roe, spoke of the importance of the bill. “House Bill 1904 protects the lives of both unborn babies and mothers by ensuring that when abortion does occur, it is absolutely medically necessary to save the life of mother and the physician performing this procedure is extremely well-qualified,” she said. “I am optimistic that this legislation will help lower the abortion rate in Oklahoma. I’m very glad the bill was passed by the House and eagerly look forward to the Governor signing it into law.”
Another bill headed to the governor’s desk is Senate Bill 778, which Live Action News previously noted “would require a ‘qualified physician’ to examine [a] woman in person prior to prescribing the abortion pill. The physician would also be required to verify that the woman is pregnant, determine her blood type and if she is Rh-negative, and to administer RhoGAM at the time of the abortion if she is Rh-negative” and the gestational age of the child must be documented.
In speaking about the various pro-life measures, Sen. Daniels said. “This has been a hard-fought battle, and no one, single bill will end abortion in our state. But each of these measures represents one more step in our journey to defend the sanctity of life.”
According to KOCO News, Governor Stitt has five days to sign the bills. If they remain unsigned in that time period, the bills become law by default and will go into effect in November.
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