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State senate argues about proposed abortion measure


Gazette staff May 24th, 2007

A new anti-abortion measure that passed the Senate recently prompted at least one senator to suggest that other lawmakers think outside the box.   Among other restr...

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A new anti-abortion measure that passed the Senate recently prompted at least one senator to suggest that other lawmakers think outside the box.

 

Among other restrictions, Senate Bill 139 would require doctors track the women on whom they performed the procedure.

 

While state bureaucrats will be given statistics on all those involved, they are supposed to take steps that the collection of such information could not reasonably lead to the identification of the women.

 

The bill also would outlaw most abortions from being performed in a hospital or facility that receives state funds. Exceptions are made for females who are the victims of rape or incest " provided they can snag an officer and report it on the way to doctor.

 

The bill also redefines spontaneous miscarriages for which a doctor must remove the dead fetus as a form of abortion, and requires that those be tracked in a similar way.

 

Some theatrics were involved in recent days for the attempted passing of the measure. Sen. James Williamson, R-Tulsa, turned on a few sniffles for the chamber during the debate over SB 139, declaring that abortions can be performed at private hospitals, now.

 

"We're just saying that the state of Oklahoma taxpayer should not be in the abortion business. It's black and white. It's not hard to understand," he said.

 

But it was Sen. Tom Adelson, D-Tulsa, who perhaps made the most interesting observation during the Senate debate regarding the bill.

 

Adelson noted that the chamber's abortion opponents seem stingy when money is needed to help children who are already born, noting that 2,800 children in Oklahoma won't get to go to the doctor when they need to because funding for such was blocked by the senators.

 

"You could have done that five times (this session)," he said. "This is a bit crude, but certainly the pro-life movement doesn't stop at a woman's vagina. It ought to continue once that woman is delivering."

 
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