Oklahoma lawmakers to tackle abortion measures on return to Capitol
By BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Published: 1/30/2012 2:23 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY – One measure pending in the Oklahoma Legislature would require a woman to listen to a fetal heartbeat before ending her pregnancy.
Two others would declare that life begins at conception.
Lawmakers will once again tackle abortion legislation when they return to the Capitol on Feb. 6.
[important]READ AND TRACK THE LEGISLATION HERE: (http://newlsb.lsb.state.ok.us/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=SB1433&Session=1200)[/important]
Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, has filed Senate Bill 1433, which would declare that life begins at conception.
“It sets forth that the policy within the state is that life begins at conception,” Crain said.
The measure does not impose any penalties on women who end their pregnancies or for those who perform abortions, he said.
Both measures were requested by Oklahomans for Life, said the group’s chairman, Tony Lauinger.
Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, has filed a “personhood” measure that goes further than Crain’s bill. Reynolds’ House Joint Resolution 1067 would put the issue to a vote of the people.
Reynolds said his proposal would allow prosecution for the taking of a human life.
It would not ban contraceptives or allow for a woman who had a miscarriage to be prosecuted, he said. It has exemptions for treatment for life-threatening conditions but not rape or incest.
“It is disappointing to see this routine of filing of bills that look good on campaign fliers but don’t really do anything to reduce the number of abortions in Oklahoma,” Kiesel said.
Women are protected by the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees that they are able to make decisions about their reproductive health regardless of what lawmakers pass, Kiesel said.
The state has spent at least $120,000 defending prior laws putting restrictions on abortions.
The currently challenged laws involve requiring a woman to have an ultrasound prior to an abortion and placing restrictions on drugs used in medical abortions.
Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=336&articleid=20120130_16_A1_OKLAHO766423