Oklahoma Senate Approved Omnibus Anti-Abortion Bill
The Oklahoma state Senate voted last week to approve an anti-abortion omnibus bill. The Oklahoma House passed the bill earlier this week, and it has now been sent to Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry (D).
Also known as the "Freedom of Conscious Act", the legislation allows health care workers to refuse to participate in any actions that they feel are contrary to their religious beliefs and moral convictions. The legislation prohibits discrimination of employees who refuse to participate.
Under the "Freedom of Conscious Act", a woman would be required to have an ultrasound prior to obtaining an abortion. The bill requires that wherever abortion is provided, large signs be posted stating that it is "against the law for anyone, regardless of his or her relationship to you, to force you to have an abortion." The bill also regulates the use of Mifepristone, or RU-486.
Opponents of the measure state that it is punitive to women to require them to undergo an ultrasound prior to having an abortion, and pointed out that the bill does not exempt rape survivors and cases of incest from the harsh requirements. Sen. Jeff Rabon (D) said the bill "would dehumanize and humiliate women," according to the Daily Women's Health Policy Report.
Media Resources: Daily Women’s Health Policy Report 4/11/08; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/7/08