[JURIST] Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin [official website] signed [press release] House Bill 1409 [legislative materials] into law Wednesday extending the mandatory waiting period for women seeking an abortion from 24 to 72 hours. Fallin said the new law, “will allow for more time to consider medical risks as well as explore alternatives to abortion, such as adoption.” The bill also requires that abortion facilities that operate a website include a link to the state sponsored website A Woman’s Right to Know [website]. The bill will take effect November 1, making Oklahoma the fourth state to require a 72-hour waiting period.
Reproductive rights [JURIST backgrounder] continue to be a hotly debated legal issue throughout the US, with a number of state legislatures proposing laws to limit abortion. In April Tennessee lawmakers approved [JURIST report] two measures that are expected to be signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam [official website] and will require state abortion clinics to be licensed as surgical centers and require women to wait 48 hours after receiving counseling before being able to get an abortion. Also in April Alabama state representative Teri Collins proposed a bill [JURIST report] to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback [official website] signed a bill [press release] that bans all forms of dismemberment abortion unless necessary to protect the life or health of the mother. In March Arizona Governor Doug Ducey [official website] signed a bill [JURIST report] that requires abortion providers in the state to tell women they can reverse the effects of a drug-induced abortion and also bars women from buying any health care plan through the federal marketplace that includes coverage for abortions. Earlier in March the West Virginia Legislature overrode [JURIST report] Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto, passing a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks.