Oklahoma lawmakers approve bill requiring pre-abortion questionnaire

[JURIST] The Oklahoma Senate [official website] on Tuesday voted 32-11 in favor of a bill [HB 3284, RTF] that would require women seeking an abortion [JURIST news archive] to complete a questionnaire. The bill, known as the Statistical Abortion Report Act, would require women to answer questions [NewsOK report] such as marital status, reasons for seeking the abortion, and whether the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. An identical bill was signed into law last session but was struck down [JURIST report] because it was part of a broader bill that violated the state constitution's single subject requirement. Opponents of the bill have criticized it as intrusive, objecting to the fact that incest and rape victims are not exempt from the reporting requirement. Supporters have said the measure is necessary to protect unborn children. The bill is expected to be sent to Governor Brad Henry by the end of the week.

Last week, Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson [official profile] agreed to delay the implementation of a controversial new state law [HB 2780 text, RTF] requiring women seeking an abortion to consent first to an ultrasound. The Center for Reproductive Rights [advocacy website] requested a restraining order temporarily barring enforcement of the law. In April, the Oklahoma Senate voted to override [JURIST report] Henry's veto of two anti-abortion bills, including the ultrasound bill. The Oklahoma laws join another restrictive abortion law passed recently in Nebraska, which bans abortions after 20 weeks [JURIST report].

 

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