By Tony Lauinger, State Chairman, Oklahomans for Life
On May 22, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed into
law HB 2587, the. The law, first of its kind in the nation, was drafted by National Right to Life.
Governor Stitt also signed into law HB 2588, which guards against depriving vulnerable individuals of life-preserving care in guardianship cases by requiring a separate court hearing and judicial authorization before a guardian may deny life-preserving care to a ward.
HB 2587, the Nondiscrimination in Health Care Coverage Act, prohibits use of Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) as a measure of whether a health-care service should be covered by insurance or other health reimbursement. Under a QALY system, the lives of persons with disabilities are deemed less valuable, and therefore less worthy of health care, than the lives of nondisabled persons, and thus they are vulnerable to denial of health-care coverage.
The help of those of you who receive our Legislative Alerts and who respond by contacting elected officials at key stages of the legislative process has been instrumental in achieving enactment of these critically important pro-life laws.
The other pro-life bill on which we worked this session that became law was SB 1728. Employing Oklahoma’s Wrongful-Death law, SB 1728 provides enhanced legal rights to women who have been misled into having an abortion by increasing the civil liability of abortionists who have deceived such women. The bill also provides legal recourse for women in circumstances where an abortionist has failed to comply with all applicable Oklahoma laws.
These were the three bills on which Oklahomans For Life focused this year, and the fact that they all became law in what was a very abbreviated legislative session cut short by the Coronavirus pandemic is due to the exceptional pro-life commitment of the Republican leadership in both the Oklahoma House and Senate. Those who prioritized these pro-life bills were Senators Greg Treat and Kim David, and House Speaker Charles McCall and Rep. Jon Echols.
The authors of the three bills deserve great credit for their pro-life leadership. Senator Julie Daniels and Representative Sean Roberts were the authors of both HB 2587 and HB 2588. Senator David Bullard and Rep. Tom Gann authored SB 1728. All of them have our sincere appreciation, as does Governor Kevin Stitt.
Thank you to all of you who faithfully respond to our Legislative Alerts. You helped make this a highly successful pro-life session.
The May 2020 edition of National Right to Life News is available here: www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRNewsMay2020.pdf