OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MARY FALLIN
Alex Weintz, Communications Director
Aaron Cooper, Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today signed two pieces of pro-life legislation into law at a ceremony attended by pro-life legislators and advocates.
House Bill 1888, authored by Representative Pam Peterson and Senator Clark Jolley, creates the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Scientific studies have shown that at 20 weeks an unborn child can feel pain. The bill exempts situations in which the life of the mother is at risk or when the mother faces serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment.
Senate Bill 547, authored by Senator Anthony Sykes and Representative Dennis Johnson, ensures standard health insurance policies sold in Oklahoma or sold through a state health insurance exchange do not include elective abortion coverage. The bill prevents Oklahomans from unwillingly subsidizing abortion coverage simply by purchasing health insurance. Under SB 547, those who want abortion coverage could acquire it through optional supplemental coverage with a separate premium.
“I believe in the sanctity of human life and the responsibility of our lawmakers to protect life,” said Governor Fallin. “Together, these two pieces of legislation will expand protections for unborn children and ensure that Oklahomans are not forced to unknowingly or unwillingly help to pay for procedures that run contrary to their values."