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Okla. House Sends 72-Hour Mandatory Delay to Governor

Okla. House Sends 72-Hour Mandatory Delay to Governor

May 1, 2015 — The Oklahoma House on Thursday voted 75-3 to pass a measure (HB 1409) that would increase the state's mandatory delay before an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours, the AP/New York Times reports (AP/New York Times, 4/30).

Under current state law, health care providers are required to provide certain information to women before an abortion including the current length of gestation of the pregnancy, and state that fetal heartbeat monitoring and ultrasound services are available (Women's Health Policy Report, 2/12).

The measure now proceeds to Gov. Mary Fallin (R). If approved, Oklahoma would be the fourth state -- after Missouri, South Dakota and Utah -- to impose a 72-hour mandatory delay before a woman can receive an abortion (AP/New York Times, 4/30).

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Fallin said, "I support [antiabortion-rights] legislation, so I'm looking forward to reading" the bill.

Meanwhile, Amanda Allen, state legislative counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the measure is "part of a larger agenda" in the state to impose abortion restrictions.

"It's really about shame and the government trying to coerce a woman into delaying care she has already decided she needs," she said, adding, "This is just one more barrier placed on top of barrier after barrier Oklahoma has already erected" (Green, The Oklahoman, 4/30).