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Oklahoma adopts law barring public funds for abortions

[JURIST] An Oklahoma bill [SB 0139 text] barring the use of public funds to pay for abortions passed into law Thursday after the deadline for the governor's veto expired at midnight Wednesday. The bill bars the use of public money to fund most abortions, but does include exceptions for cases of rape or incest if the victim reports the crime to the police. Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry (D) [official website] had vetoed an earlier bill that did not include those exceptions. Critic Linda Gray Murphy, a lobbyist with the National Association of Social Workers [advocacy website], warned that the law would ban almost all hospitals in the state from performing abortions, since most received some state funding. Reuters has more.

In May 2006, Oklahoma passed a law [PDF text] requiring parental notification at least 48 hours in advance of an abortion for a minor. In August 2006, the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit refused to grant an injunction to halt the law while Nova Health Systems, the parent group of Tulsa's Reproductive Services clinic, challenged the law in court [JURIST report].

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