Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

May-12-10

Oklahoma Legislature Passes Anti-Choice Law Requiring Publication of Patient Information

The Oklahoma state Senate voted 32 to 11 today in favor of legislation that would require doctors to report detailed information about patients seeking abortions to the government. This information would be posted online. In March, the state House voted 85 to 8 in favor of the legislation, which now goes to Governor Brad Henry (D) for consideration.

The questionnaire will ultimately be posted on the Oklahoma State Department of Health website and includes information as detailed as a woman's reason for an abortion, her age, marital status, the date of the abortion, and the total number of previous pregnancies, miscarriages, abortions, and live births. Though supporters of the bill argue that the omission of a woman's name and address preserves her right to privacy, opponents assert that it would be possible to identify a woman from a small town from the information to be published.

According to the American Medical Association, "the physician's duty to maintain confidentiality means that a physician may not disclose any medical information revealed by a patient or discovered by a physician in connection with the treatment of a patient. In general, AMA's Code of Medical Ethics states that the information disclosed to a physician during the course of the patient-physician relationship is confidential to the utmost degree. "

State Senator Jim Wilson (D) told Tulsa World, "I know the bill is presented as a need to understand why people get abortions...We already know that. What this bill does is intimidate women."

In March 2010, the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld the February ruling of a state District Court saying that an anti-choice law that included the current patient reporting requirements was unconstitutional on the basis that it violated state rules requiring legislation address only a single subject. This law also included provisions requiring detailed descriptions of ultrasounds and prohibiting sex-selective abortions, among other provisions.

Also in Oklahoma, state Attorney General agreed earlier this month to a state judge's order to temporarily block enforcement of a different new state law that would require medical professionals to show women an ultrasound image and give women a detailed description of the fetus prior to performing an abortion procedure. This law went into effect immediately following a veto override by the state legislature in let April 2010 and was in effect for most of a week.

The Oklahoma state legislature also overrode the veto of a second anti-choice bill in April that prohibits women from suing doctors who intentionally withhold information or provide misleading or inaccurate information about a pregnancy. In addition to the two vetoes, Governor Henry signed one anti-choice bill, which requires abortion clinics to post signs in their facilities stating that women cannot be coerced to have an abortion, that a woman's voluntary consent is required to obtain the procedure, and that sex selective abortions are illegal, at the same time.

Previously, Henry had also signed three other anti-choice bills into law on April 5. The first of these bills outlaws sex-selective abortion, the second bill institutes a "conscience clause" allowing healthcare providers to refuse to participate in abortion procedures or refer patients to abortion providers, and the third bill puts restrictions on the administration of mifepristone (also known as RU-486) by requiring it be administered in the presence of a physician.

Media Resources: Tulsa World 5/12/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 10/7/09, 3/4/10, 5/4/10; American Medical Association


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10. United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum. "Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said. First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
 
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill. House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
 
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill. The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .