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Okla. Governor Signs 72-Hour Mandatory Delay Bill

Okla. Governor Signs 72-Hour Mandatory Delay Bill

May 7, 2015 — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) on Wednesday signed a bill (HB 1409) into law that will increase the state's mandatory delay before an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours, the Oklahoman reports (Green, Oklahoman, 5/6).

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. They must also state that fetal heartbeat monitoring and ultrasound services are available (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/1).

The law will take effect on Nov. 1.

Oklahoma now is the fourth state to approve a 72-hour mandatory delay before a woman can receive an abortion, joining Missouri, South Dakota and Utah (AP/ABC News, 5/6).

Reaction

Fallin said the law "will help women get the information they need before making a decision" about abortion.

However, Amanda Allen, state legislative counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the measure is "really about shame and the government trying to coerce a woman into delaying care she has already decided she needs." She added, "It's part of a larger agenda to ensure that as long as abortion is legal, it is as difficult as possible to access it" (Oklahoman, 5/6).