The House Public Health Committee voted today to expand Oklahoma informed-consent laws regarding abortion.
Senate Bill 1274, by state Sen. Dan Newberry and state Rep. Pam Peterson, creates the Heartbeat Informed Consent Act. The legislation would require an abortion provider to provide a woman the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat prior to the procedure.
“Informed consent laws put the state on the side of the patient and ensure a woman is provided as much relevant information as possible before making a life-altering decision,” said Peterson, R-Tulsa. “With changes in technology, a much greater array of medical information is now available to women and we should not allow them to be denied access to that knowledge.”
Senate Bill 1274 would apply to situations where the unborn baby is eight weeks or older, and the woman would have the choice on whether or not to hear the heartbeat during a standard pre-procedure exam.
The bill’s provisions do not apply when the mother’s life is in danger.
“This legislation simply gives a woman the opportunity to hear the heartbeat of her unborn child through the use of the fetal heart monitor,” Peterson said. “A pregnant woman who enters an abortion clinic is faced with a decision that will forever change two lives. It is for that reason the woman needs to be fully informed.
“Whether you're pro-life or pro-choice you should be for this bill if you do not want women misled.”
Senate Bill 1274 passed the House Public Health Committee on a bipartisan 10-1 vote. It now proceeds to the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.