March 2, 2015 — The Oklahoma House on Thursday voted 84-2 to approve a bill (HB 1721) that would prohibit physicians from performing a certain abortion procedure, the AP/Tulsa World reports. The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration (AP/Tulsa World, 2/26).
Abortion-rights opponents say the measure would ban a procedure called dilation and evacuation. They are calling the procedure "dismemberment abortion," which physicians and supporters of abortion rights say is an incendiary and misleading phrase (Women's Health Policy Report, 2/12). Similar legislation has been proposed in other states, including Missouri (HB 920) and Kansas (SB 95) (Women's Health Policy Report, 2/23). The bills are based off language provided by the National Right to Life Committee (Women's Health Policy Report, 2/10).
Under the Oklahoma measure, physicians who perform the procedure could face a $10,000 fine and up to two years in prison. The bill includes an exception for cases of serious risk to a woman's health (Women's Health Policy Report, 2/12).