[quote]The Associated Press
The Oklahoma Senate approved several bills Monday that opponents say would make it more difficult or uncomfortable for women to get abortions, including one that would require women seeking the procedures early in their pregnancies to undergo an invasive form of ultrasound.
The five bills, some of which will go to Gov. Brad Henry for consideration and others which will return to the House, were overwhelmingly approved by the Republican-controlled Senate. If given final approval, the bills would give Oklahoma some of the most restrictive laws of any state, an abortion rights group says.
One of the laws headed to the governor would require doctors to use a vaginal probe in cases where it would provide a clearer picture of the fetus than a regular ultrasound. Doctors have said this is usually the case early in pregnancies, when most abortions are done.
“You’re going to force someone to undergo an invasive medical procedure,” objected state Sen. Andrew Rice, D-Oklahoma City, who voted against the bill. “You have to invasively put an instrument inside the woman. This could be your 15-year-old daughter who was raped.”
At least three states require ultrasounds before all abortions, but no other states require vaginal ultrasounds or that doctors to describe the image to women.
State Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, who sponsored the ultrasound bill, said the goal was to provide women seeking an abortion with as much information possible before they had the procedure.
Henry vetoed the ultrasound requirement in larger bill two years ago, arguing it had no exclusions for victims of rape or incest. But his veto was overridden when anti-abortion Democrats joined with Republicans. The bill was later ruled unconstitutional because it dealt with more than one subject. The bill passed Monday also has no exceptions. Henry has not indicated whether he will sign it.
It passed 35-11 Monday with several Democrats voting with Republicans. Of the five women in the Senate, all Democrats, two voted for the bill and three voted against.
The other abortion measures would require women to complete a lengthy questionnaire before receiving an abortion, mandate certain signs be posted in an abortion clinics and prevent so-called “wrongful-life” lawsuits in cases where a parent might argue that a child with birth defects or other problems would have been better off aborted. Another bill would prohibit state insurance exchanges, created under the new federal health care law, from covering abortions.[/quote]
That’s pretty harsh. Do the women have to wear a scarlet letter as well?