Oklahoma Passes Strict Abortion Law

The Oklahoma Legislature has voted to override two vetoes to pass two strict measures restricting abortion. One requires a doctor to set up an ultrasound in the woman’s room, show her the fetus, and describe its organs and limbs (there is no exemption for rape or incest). The other says doctors are not liable for malpractice if they elect to not tell a pregnant woman that the fetus she’s carrying has birth defects—the intent is to prevent parents from suing a doctor who hid the information to prevent an abortion. Democratic Gov. Brad Henry vetoed both measures, calling the second “unconscionable” in allowing a physician to mislead a patient. Oklahoma courts struck down the ultrasound law last year because of a rule that a bill can only deal with one subject. This time Republicans passed five separate abortion bills. Another measure in the legislature requires a woman to fill out a questionnaire about why she’s seeking the procedure; the statistics based on answers would be posted online.