New laws in Oklahoma will prohibit abortions if a heartbeat is detected in the baby and suspend the medical licenses of doctors who perform an abortion. Republican Gov. Kevin Still signed the bills on Monday.
House Bill 2441, which passed the House 80-19 and the Senate 37-10, requires medical personnel to determine if an unborn child has a heartbeat before performing an abortion. It prohibits abortions if a heartbeat is detected, although it includes exceptions to protect the life of the mother and if an abortion would “avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function,” but not including “psychological or emotional conditions.”
Medical personnel who violate the law would be guilty of homicide, according to the text of the new law.
Stitt signed another bill, HB 1102, that modifies the categories of “unprofessional conduct” in the licensing of doctors to include the performance of an abortion unless the procedure is performed to prevent the death or significant physical impairment of the mother. Any doctor who performs an abortion would lose their medical license for at least one year.
A third bill signed by Stitt, HB 1904, requires medical personnel who perform abortions to be board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. The new laws take effect Nov. 1, although pro-choice groups say they will challenge them in court. I’m keeping my promise to sign all pro-life legislation,” Stitt tweeted. “We now have three more laws protecting the lives of the unborn!”
Pro-abortion groups criticized Stitt and the Oklahoma legislature for the heartbeat bill.
“The legislation that passed today is designed to punish abortion providers, shame women and block access to safe, legal abortion,” said Gloria Pedro of Planned Parenthood Great Plains. “Politicians should not insert themselves into a person’s private medical decisions about pregnancy or between doctors and their patients.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice