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Proposed abortion bill to set up Oklahoma database raises concerns

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A new bill at the Oklahoma State Capitol would establish a government database that designates women who want an abortion to a number in the system. Advocates say it will help ensure pregnant women get the information they need before they make a decision. Opponents argue that it is a burdensome law that makes it harder for women to access the procedures they want.

Previous session, Oklahoma legislators passed many anti-abortion bills – and it looks like this spring could do the same.

A bill just introduced by Republicans in the state Senate could add another step to the abortion process in Oklahoma.

Senator George Burns, R-Pollard

Senate Bill 1167, introduced by Senator George Burns, R-Pollard, is known as the “Mother Matters Act” or “EMMA”.

“Many women facing an unwanted pregnancy turn to abortion because they feel like they have no choice. We want to make sure they have the opportunity to connect with medical, financial and other resources that they may not be aware of,” Burns said. “This law will do that as well as provide screening to identify people who have been victims of crime so that, with the consent of the woman, a report can be made to law enforcement. appropriate law enforcement.”

The bill requires that a woman who wants to have an abortion be provided with access to resources before having an abortion.

If she accepts, she will be provided with information about support services.

Senator Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, said: “We should provide every means possible for them to be fully informed and take every step possible to try to protect unborn babies’ lives.

However, some are interested in certain provisions of the law.

“Once again, we find legislators ignorant of the obstacles pregnant women go through to get an abortion in Oklahoma,” said Tamya Cox-Toure, head of the ACLU of Oklahoma.

Cox-Toure is concerned with the language of the bill that would require every pregnant woman who wants an abortion to have a “unique identification number” – no woman can get an abortion until she’s assigned one.

The law also requires abortion providers to keep a woman’s information for seven years.

“Who holds this number? Where does that information go? It moves into a state where we know we’ve seen data breaches, privacy issues happen,” said Cox-Toure.

We contacted Burns’ office to see how that information would be protected, but never received a response.

Signs of Building Trust Women
The exterior of the Trust Women building

The Trust Women’s Reproductive Health Clinic south of Oklahoma City released a statement to KFOR, saying:

Trust Women believe in each person’s ability and right to make their own decisions about their health care, including decisions about abortion. Restricting or prohibiting abortion care has profound negative consequences for the lives and well-being of Oklahomans.

Instead of introducing dangerous legislation that could negatively affect the health and well-being of voters, lawmakers have other options. Politicians should focus on a variety of programs that will positively impact the lives of Oklahomans. These include expanding Medicaid, increasing funding for early education, and expanding access to telemedicine abortion care, among many other areas.

With hundreds of women traveling thousands of miles to get legal, constitutionally protected abortion care that their governments have denied them, politicians have shown their intent to turn their backs on not only neighboring countries to the south but also their own people. Any plans by politicians to submit dangerous and unconstitutional legislation during this year’s legislative session are incorrect. They still have time to work on another plan, one that includes improving the quality of life for those they serve.

Some people call the new law burdensome and unnecessary.

“We are not asking for this of any other medical procedure where we are having an unrelated third party with no relationship to the patient that now raises very intrusive questions. . So we should all be worried,” said Cox-Toure.

But Republican lawmakers were not shaken.

“There’s no other medical procedure that actually ends the life of an innocent child, I would say it’s not too burdensome to save more lives and save more fetuses,” said Dahm.

“My ultimate goal is to completely end abortion, and that fight continues,” Burns said. “But we must also do all we can as a state to help make compassionate choices for those facing unplanned pregnancy, to promote the preservation and dignity of life for mothers and their unborn babies.”

This measure, along with other proposed abortion laws, may be introduced in this session.

The session of the legislature began on February 7.

https://kfor.com/news/oklahoma-legislature/proposed-abortion-bill-to-establish-oklahoma-database-draws-concerns/ Proposed abortion bill to set up Oklahoma database raises concerns

JACLYN DIAZ

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