OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Republican lawmakers want to add exceptions to the strictest abortion bans in the country.
Last year, Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law a series of abortion bans that made it a felony for doctors to perform the procedure.
Only House Bill 4327, also known as a bounty law, allowed abortion in the case of rape or incest.
In a Senate Health and Human Services Committee meeting on Thursday, Republican Julie Daniels proposed SB 834, which would add specific language to all the abortion laws in Oklahoma.
“The goal here is to standardize definitions and exceptions and put them in every section of law that has to do with the pro-life issue so that everybody is clear on what the law is,” said Daniels.
All Republicans on the committee voted “yes.”
The two Democrats, Senators Carri Hicks and George Young voted “no.”
“The frustrating part for these still resides in the fact that we’re requiring individuals, victims of rape and incest, to report to law enforcement before they can access our treatment,” said Hicks.
Rape is one of the most underreported crimes, so many women would not receive the outcomes they deserve, according to Hicks. She wouldn’t vote for a bill if reporting to police is a stipulation.
“At least 20% of victims actually report their assault,” said the Democratic senator. “So for me it’s an easy no until we are actually addressing that violent crime.”
Daniels bill clarifies that contraceptives are not illegal, so long as a woman is not already pregnant.
Lawmakers addressed that issue separately when they passed SB 368.