Thursday, April 19, 2012

House Approves Heartbeat Informed Consent Act

The Oklahoma House of Representatives voted today to provide women the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat prior to an abortion.
            Senate Bill 1274, by state Sen. Dan Newberry and state Rep. Pam Peterson, creates the Heartbeat Informed Consent Act.
            “Thanks to advances in modern medicine, we’ve gone from the days when people claimed a baby was ‘just a clump of cells’ to being able to see the truly astounding process of development in the womb,” said Peterson, R-Tulsa. “This legislation simply ensures that a woman is given the opportunity to assess that information. Our laws should not be stuck in the 1950s when it comes to medical issues.”
            Senate Bill 1274 would apply to situations where the unborn baby is eight weeks or older, and the woman would have the choice of whether or not to hear the heartbeat during a standard pre-procedure exam.
            “It is important to ensure informed-consent rights,” Peterson said. “There’s a much greater array of medical data now available to women, and we should not allow them to be denied access to that knowledge.”
            Senate Bill 1274 passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a bipartisan 75-12 vote.
            Peterson noted the bill is in keeping with U.S. Supreme Court rulings. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the court’s majority declared, “In attempting to ensure that a woman apprehend the full consequences of her decision, the State furthers the legitimate purpose of reducing the risk that a woman may elect an abortion, only to discover later, with devastating psychological consequences, that her decision was not fully informed…”
            “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.”
            The bill now proceeds to the governor to be signed into law.

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