72-hour reflection period passes Oklahoma Senate Committee

HB 1409 has already passed state House

By Dave Andrusko

Representative Lisa Billy

Representative Lisa Billy

An Oklahoma state Senate Committee has overwhelmingly passed HB 1409, a measure that already passed the state House in February.

Yesterday’s vote in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee was 8-1.

The bill improves Oklahoma’s current abortion-informed-consent law in multiple ways. It provides a 72-hour waiting period before an abortion, requires that abortion facilities, on their websites, link to the state’s Woman’s Right to Know website, and provides that mothers considering abortion be informed that “abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

“The purpose of the bill 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 step of going through with an abortion,” said Tony Lauinger, State Chairman, Oklahomans for Life.

Senator Greg Treat

Senator Greg Treat

If HB 1409, authored by Representative Lisa Billy and Senator Greg Treat, becomes law, Oklahoma would become the fourth state to provide women with a 72-hour period of reflection. Missouri, South Dakota, and Utah are the other three.

“Both the gravity and the irrevocability of the decision to take the life of a child mitigate in favor of caution, of erring on the side of adequate reflection — with the benefit of all relevant information and the time to absorb and consider the ramifications,” Lauinger added.

Informing women that “abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being” is not new. It is language that has already been upheld by the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.