Oklahoma

BREAKING NEWS – The Oklahoma Legislature has passed a bill that would make performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

The measure is the first of its kind in the US, according to abortion rights group Center for Reproductive Rights. The bill also would restrict any physician who performs an abortion from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in Oklahoma.

http://launch.newsinc.com/?type=VideoPlayer/Single&widgetId=1&trackingGroup=69016&siteSection=tulsastudio_hom_non_fro&videoId=30672830With no discussion or debate, the Senate voted 33-12 Thursday for the bill by Republican Senator Nathan Dahm.A handful of Republicans joined with Democrats in voting against the bill, which now heads to Governor Mary Fallin, an anti-abortion Republican.

ABC NEWS says abortion doctors would become felons:

The Oklahoma Legislature has passed a bill that would make performing an abortion a felony.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES says it’s a setback:

In a setback for women’s health advocates, the Oklahoman state legislature passed a bill on Thursday that makes performing an abortion a felony.

THE NEW YORK TIMES says the bill is unconstitutional:

This legislation is plainly unconstitutional, and would be struck down as quickly as earlier attempts to ban abortion outright — which Utahand Louisiana tried in 1991. Since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld a woman’s right to an abortion before the fetus is viable.

Fallin spokesman Michael McNutt said the governor will withhold comment until her staff has time to review it.

“Since I believe life begins at conception, it should be protected, and I believe it’s a core function of state government to defend that life from the beginning of conception,” said Dahm, R-Broken Arrow.

Unconstitutional In Oklahoma

Abortion rights supporters have said the bill is unconstitutional and will be challenged immediately. Senator Ervin Yen, an Oklahoma City Republican and the only physician in the Senate, described the measure as “insane” and voted against it.

“Oklahoma politicians have made it their mission year after year to restrict women’s access vital health care services, yet this total ban on abortion is a new low,” Amanda Allen, an attorney for the New-York based center said in a statement. “The Center for Reproductive Rights is closely watching this bill and we strongly urge Governor Fallin to reject this cruel and unconstitutional ban.”

Dahm says he’s hopeful the measure could lead to overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 US Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Also Thursday, the Oklahoma House approved a bill that requires the state Department of Health to develop informational material “for the purpose of achieving an abortion-free society,” but lawmakers didn’t approve any funding for it.

The measure, which now goes to the Senate, requires the health department to produce information about alternatives to abortion and the developmental stages of a fetus, but the bill’s sponsor says it cannot be implemented without any funding.