Admitting Privileges Bill Advances in Okla.

February 21, 2014 — Earlier this week, the Oklahoma Senate Committee on Health and Human Services in a 5-3 vote approved a measure (SB 1848) that would require physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic, the Tulsa World reports. 

Rep. Randy Grau (R) and Sen. Greg Treat (R) proposed the measure, which would also require that the Oklahoma State Department of Health develop additional abortion requirements for abortion clinics, including providing "written instructions regarding post-abortion coitus, signs of possible complications, and general after care."

The measure now proceeds to the state Senate Appropriations Committee (Hoberock, Tulsa World, 2/18). A House committee has already approved a similar measure.

Comments on Admitting Privileges Bill

Amanda Allen, the state legislative counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the "legislation does nothing to advance women's health and safety as there is no medical reason for this requirement," adding, "It is simply another thinly veiled attempt by extremists to restrict access to safe and legal abortion care" (KTUL, 2/19).

Meanwhile, Treat said his bill is necessary because abortion "is a very dangerous procedure." He added, "Complications could exist for the woman or the unborn child."

Treat expressed confidence that the bill could withstand a legal challenge if enacted (Tulsa World, 2/18).