April 17, 2014 — The Oklahoma Senate on Tuesday passed a bill (HB 2684) that would restrict the use of medication abortion drugs, sending the measure to Gov. Mary Fallin (R), the AP/Kansas City Star reports.
Fallin previously signed a similar piece of legislation, which was later struck down by the state Supreme Court (Murphy, AP/Kansas City Star, 4/15).
The bill would require that physicians in the state administer medication abortion drugs according to FDA protocol. However, it specifies that it would not ban the use of the drug misoprostol in medication abortions and that it would not prohibit the off-label use of drugs for the treatment of ectopic pregnancies.
The bill was written in direct response to the court decision striking down a similar Oklahoma law as unconstitutional because it effectively banned all medication abortions in the state (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/2).
State Sen. Greg Treat (R), a sponsor of the bill, said it was written to address issues about unclear intent that were raised in court.
However, state Sen. Connie Johnson (D), said, "The true intent of this bill, in my opinion, is to deny women and their physicians the freedom to make personal health decisions." She added, "Let's stop putting our noses in places where doctors and women are the only people who should be having some input" (AP/Kansas City Star, 4/15).