OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A bill that would prohibit a doctor from performing an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected passed the full Senate on Thursday.
Senate Bill 1503, authored by Senator Julie Daniels, R-District 29, does state, though, that if a medical emergency exists, an abortion can be performed, despite if a heartbeat is detected.
“It requires the doctor to find a medical emergency and then define that emergency and make the notations, make a report of those findings,” said Sen. Daniels during the Senate Health and Human Services committee on February 21.
SB1503 would also allow for civil action against those who performed, aided or abetted in accomplishing the abortion or the intent to perform an abortion. The financial penalty to be $10,000 or more. However, Sen. Daniels stated in committee that, “there is no cause of action that may be brought against the woman.”
SB1503 was questioned and debated at length, approximately for an hour and a half, while on the Senate floor March 10. It passed with a 33-11 vote. It will now advance to the House for consideration
“These bills pose an imminent and grave threat to abortion access in Oklahoma and across the region. For months, scores of Texans have sought abortion care in Oklahoma, in addition to pregnant people in Oklahoma. Abortion rights activists have been warning of this nightmare for months: these abortion restrictions will have a domino effect across the country, and have the potential to push abortion access out of reach for an entire region.”Statement from Elisabeth Smith, Director of State Policy and Advocacy for the Center for Reproductive Rights
“For six months, Oklahoma has been the central point of refuge for countless people forced to flee Texas for care. We have seen firsthand the devastation caused when lawmakers put politics before patients’ rights. We’ve seen it in the faces of people who have traveled hundreds of miles, taken unpaid time off work, scrambled to find childcare, and often arrived alone, fearing that sharing with family and friends could put those individuals at risk under the law.” Sadly, today the Senate moved one step closer to putting Oklahomans in the very same position. While self-proclaimed freedom-fighting politicians strip Oklahomans of the rights their neighbors enjoy, Planned Parenthood health centers will keep their doors open and provide care to all.”
Statement from Emily Wales, interim president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Great Plains
“Oklahomans deserve access to abortion, without obstacles, stigma, or harassment, but local politicians are emboldened after witnessing the ongoing attacks across the country to time-sensitive, compassionate health care. Make no mistake, our state is at a crisis point in the fight to protect abortion. Forcing people to continue a pregnancy by taking away their ability to get an abortion is dangerous and a violation of their rights. It is an attack on human dignity. At every point in a pregnancy, a person’s health, not politics, should drive their medical decisions. The ACLU of Oklahoma recognizes the ability to get an abortion is critical to gender equality, 2SLGBTQ+ justice, and racial equity, and we will continue to fight to protect access to abortion to ensure every person can get the care they need without political obstacles
Statement from Tamya Cox-Touré, executive director, ACLU of Oklahoma
“Anti-abortion lawmakers in Oklahoma today signaled their approval of the tragedy created by Texas’s S.B. 8 dystopia. This is madness. Oklahoma already has among the worst maternal health outcomes in the country, as well as one of the highest rates of incarceration of pregnant people in the country. If the framers of this cruel legislation were truly interested in health, justice, or compassion, they would work to ensure that all people had access in their own communities to essential reproductive health care, including abortions.”
Statement from Rebecca Tong, co-executive director, Trust Women