Oklahoma House Passes Anti-Choice Ultrasound Law

In a move that shocked no one, the Oklahoma House today passed a bill requiring that a woman must view an ultrasound at least one hour prior to receiving an abortion.  The bill, which passed through committee last week, is one of four new bills being introduced in the legislature to replace two multi-topic anti-abortion laws that have either been restrained or overturned as unconstitutional within the last year.

Other bills that have passed committee but have not yet been introduced into the House require that a doctor be in the room when RU486 is administered, that healthcare professionals who object to abortion not be required to participate in the procedure, and that women answer a 30 question survey before having an abortion, with all answers to be made public. Each bill has been reintroduced as an individual bill to avoid being declared unconstitutional again.

The ultrasound bill now goes to the senate, where it is expected to pass easily.

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  • elyzabeth

    Another wonderful example of how women are generally well-intentioned, but foolish and apt to wander astray unless good souls like these compassionate law-makers intervene and save them from themselves.  Additionally, women are flitty and emotional creatures.  They just need to be shown pictures of the cute little baby growing in their tummies and all their irrational concerns about their existing children, their lack of resources, their lack of family support, whether or not they were raped…all that will just disappear!


    Even if making women change their minds about ending an unplanned pregnancy was a worthwhile goal, did they cite any studies that support the idea that women tend to change their minds after viewing ultrasounds? I’m going to have to assume that the lawmakers know full well that all this bill accomplishes is wasting women’s and doctor’s and resources and time, not to mention the time of the woman’s friend who drove her to the clinic and the time of the other friend who is watching the kids that the woman already has.

    Also, but have any of them actually seen a first trimester ultrasound?  They don’t exactly convey the impressions of snuggly-babiness that these good souls suppose they do…

  • ch

    Also, performing ultrasounds before performing an abortion has been an industry standard for over 30 years.  Why are we making laws about medical procedures that are already standard practice?  And given the average abortion rate over the last 30 years, it appears that having or viewing an ultrasound is not much of a deterrent for women who do have abortions.

  • crowepps

    Oklahoma Abortion Bills Vetoed By Democratic Governor Brad Henry TIM TALLEY | 04/23/10 08:22 PM


    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry vetoed two abortion bills Friday that he said are an unconstitutional attempt by the Legislature to insert government into the private lives and decisions of citizens.


    One measure would have required women to undergo an intrusive ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting abortions. Henry said that legislation is flawed because it does not allow rape and incest victims to be exempted.


    Lawmakers who supported the vetoed measures promised an override vote in the House and Senate as early as next week. A national abortion rights group has said the ultrasound bill would have been among the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country if it had been signed into law.


    Henry said “it would be unconscionable to subject rape and incest victims to such treatment” because it would victimize a victim a second time.


    “State policymakers should never mandate that a citizen be forced to undergo any medical procedure against his or her will, especially when such a procedure could cause physical or mental trauma. To do so amounts to an unconstitutional invasion of privacy,” he said.


    Under the ultrasound legislation, doctors would have been required 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.



    Apparently nobody’s conscience should be bothered by causing “physical or mental trauma” when women were willing to have sex.


    No information yet on when Legislators will ‘enhance’ the law by requiring that the vaginal ultrasound probes used for the purpose of providing women with “the benefit of full and complete information” be special ones covered with spikes.

  • crowepps

    MONDAY Apr 26, 2010 18:08 ET

    The Oklahoma House voted overwhelmingly Monday to override vetoes of two restrictive abortion measures Gov. Brad Henry has called unconstitutional intrusions into citizens’ private lives and decisions.

    The Senate was expected to follow suit Tuesday, after which the bills would become law.

    One of the measures requires women to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting an abortion. The other prohibits pregnant women from seeking damages if physicians withhold information or provide inaccurate information about their pregnancy.

    Hmmm – time for activists to start an “underground railroad” to help Sooners escape reproductive slavery?  Assuming, of course, there isn’t already one THERE and working quietly to stay below public scrutiny.  Wouldn’t surprise me.
  • colleen

    The other prohibits pregnant women from seeking damages if physicians withhold information or provide inaccurate information about their pregnancy.

    Wow. Let’s watch the maternal mortality rate in OK skyrocket over the next few years. What paternalistic douchebags conservatives are.

  • crowepps

    Since we all know that if women are ‘bad mothers’ who fail to “gestate correctly”, it’s only right that they be forced to devote their time and assets to providing care for that one disastrously damaged child instead of aborting that pregnancy when the diagnosis is known and going on to have other children who are healthy.


    Did you see the report from Arizona where, in addition to cutting off employee benefits for gay partners and the children of gay partners, the Governor ALSO specifically cut off employee benefits for “disabled adult dependents” of State employees?  Once again, the ProLife position is that women are OBLIGATED to complete the pregnancy and birth these children, but that the rest of society doesn’t have any reciprocal duty to help them with, say, medical insurance.



    So in one state doctors aren’t obligated to share the news with parents because those parents might not make ‘the correct decision’, and in the other state those parents are going to have in dig into their own pockets to come up with $1,000 a month average fee for adult daycare.


    Talk about your right hand not knowing what your left hand is doing — except, of course, that both hands are self-righteously attempting to wash any the guilt of their neglect.

  • colleen

    This one is to prevent women from aborting ‘disabled’ fetuses

    I’m sure you’re right and I’m sure that is the original rationale used by the sons of bitches who wrote it but we’re talking about folks who think that they’re morally superior if they force 10 year old children try to carry pregnancies to term. They regard women and little children as breeding livestock, masturbatory aids and the main source of cheap and free labor. That’s why the ‘pro-life’ position is that women are also obligated to do all the hard, unpaid work of raising disabled children and caring for the sick. ‘We’ don’t need adult day care or nursing homes if ‘we’ all chip in and sacrifice for others. It’s about the joy!

    This is a law which encourages doctors to ‘forget’ to tell women important things like “you have cancer” or “you have brittle bone disease and if you carry this pregnancy to term your back will break in 6 places while you’re in labor.” or “you have MS.” It is a law which allows and encourages doctors to commit malpractice and to do so with impunity. It’s a ‘conscience clause’ on steroids.

  • princess-rot

    Yes, of course. We’re a source of cheap labor so that the privileged in society don’t have to deal with inconvienient lesser beings (women, children, the disabled, the poor, people of color) in the same space as them, competing for the same jobs, the same paycheck, the same education, the right to a better life. If someone else is doing the toil out of sight, the cost is incurred to the under-privileged. It means everything is right with the world, at least in the eyes of the privileged, because they can discount any suffering experienced by the lesser beings as unimportant. The only viewpoint that matters is theirs. I have found that I can apply that to all the different ways they find to strip women of the right to order their own lives. I’m not going to reiterate all the points that have already been brought up by you guys, but the end result of all these measures is the same: the only view that matters is that of those not affected by the consequences of that view.

  • saltyc

    I think there’s a lot of merit to that argument. Some people might look to a society like Brazil’s with envy, where abortion is illegal, so the middle and upper class can get an abortion by a medial professional but the poor are SOL, disadvantaged breeders. Sure there’s crime and poverty like you couldn’t imagine in the US, but on the other hand, if you’re “middle class” you have three live-in servants: someone to clean up after you, a cook and a driver. The husband makes the money, the wife plays social hostess.

  • crowepps

    Oh, man, that phrase brought back memories.  When living with my mother who had Alzheimer’s, and trying to cope with the problems thereof, I went to a conference for caretakers up in Anchorage.  The speakers were addressing various legal, medical and social problems, and sharing their own unique practical techniques for working around things, when during comments a perfectly nice lady got up and said, in effect, “I’ve always been sorry that when MY father came down with Alzheimer’s he had to go into a nursing home because I was going to spend the winter in Hawaii. You people here are so focused on the difficulties and so negative.  You should all realize how LUCKY you are to have this opportunity to give selfless LOVE.”


    The wave of hostility that rose from the overworked and overstressed caretakers was so intense I understood for the first time just how lynchings happen.

  • crowepps

    And, ironically, in those cases where parents have sued doctors for failing to diagnose and/or report their knowledge of the ‘disability’ of fetuses, or for insisting on extraordinary measures to resuscitate an extremely premature birth knowing that the unfinished child would be massively disabled, the PURPOSE of the lawsuit was to raise the money to provide the extensive and expensive medical and supervisory care necessary to take care of the child after it was born.


    People have no idea just how much money it costs to take care of these children, they do not understand that insurance companies fight like tigers to disavow any responsibility to reimbuse that care as a ‘preexisting condition’, or that the $1,000,000 maximum for care in most policies can be exceeded before the child reaches their teens.


    It’s all very well to say that parents have an ‘obligation’ to complete these pregnancies because the child has a ‘right’ to be born or that 19 week fetuses have a ‘right’ to resuscitation.  When society insists that obligation be fulfilled and at the same time insists that ‘nobody has a ‘right’ to medical care’ and ‘nobody should expect the rest of us to support them’, it puts parents in an impossible position.


    Protecting the doctor from the consequences of HIS belief that he gets to make decisions for other people is just another way to leave the parents with no way to PROVIDE the care that everybody insists that they’re obligated to give.