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Oklahoma Governor Signs 20 Week Abortion Ban into Law

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed two bills into law Wednesday that will further restrict abortion in the state.

One bill, called the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” bans late-term abortions, making it a felony crime for doctors to perform abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Oklahoma is now the fourth state to restrict abortions after 20 weeks; Nebraska, Idaho, and Kansas have signed similar measures in the past year. Nearly a dozen other states are considering similar bills.

Jordan Goldberg, an attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the measure is unconstitutional. “It puts the Legislature between a woman and her doctor at a time when women really need all the information and need to be able to make medical decisions that are right for them and their families,” she said.

The second bill prohibits standard health insurance policies offered under the new federal health care law from offering coverage for elective abortions. Under the bill, those wanting coverage would have to buy supplemental coverage with a separate premium.

The new laws make Oklahoma one of the most restrictive states in the nation on abortion.

Sources:

The Oklahoman 4/21/11; Huffington Post 4/21/11; Reuters 4/21/11; Greenwich Time 4/20/11