More women will be asked (or forced) to listen to a fetal or embryonic heartbeat prior to terminating a pregnancy, as “heartbeat bills” continue to advance through the state legislatures of Louisiana and Oklahoma.
The Louisiana heartbeat bill would require that equipment be available in each room where an abortion would be performed, and that the provider give each woman an ultrasound and “play” the fetal or embryonic heart beat. It has passed out of Senate panel and is ready to be heard and voted on by the full Senate. It would also expand the waiting period before an abortion from 2 hours to 24 hours.
Victims of rape or incest would be allowed to refuse.
In Oklahoma, the heartbeat requirement is already part of their “informed consent” law, but the new bill, which overwhelmingly passed the House, would open up more possibilities for suing providers who allegedly don’t comply, including suits initiated by a spouse, other family or even an outside doctor. It’s a regulation that even abortion opponents are complaining is going too far.
“We continue to have these bills out here that have unintended consequences like this liability issue, and I find myself being against these pro-life bills,” said [anti-choice Rep. Doug] Cox, R-Grove. “You’re about to drive me to the other side.
“This is a terrible law. We’ve got a lot better stuff than this to discourage abortions,” he said.
“Have we beat a dead horse out here or what on this abortion issue? We have beat a dead horse,” said Cox, who tore up a copy of the bill when he finished debating against the measure.
The Oklahoma bill will now head to the governor’s desk for signature.