Oklahoma’s new abortion law is overly invasive, says a report on NPR.
In Oklahoma, a new law requires any woman seeking an abortion to first answer dozens of personal questions, including why she wants the procedure. That information, names omitted, would eventually be posted on a state Web site.
Those who support the measure say it will help them better understand why women are seeking abortions. Abortion rights advocates call the law intimidating and invasive, and this week, they are challenging it in court. Legal experts say the law is another test of how far states can go to regulate abortion.
A Necessary Law, Or Intolerable?
The survey in Oklahoma’s new abortion law includes some of the following questions: Would having a baby dramatically change a woman’s life, or interfere with her job or education? Is she unemployed, or unsure of a relationship with the father?
How can we counsel, how can we treat, how can we offer counseling to mothers to be that are choosing abortion, if we don’t have hard-core facts?
– Oklahoma state Sen. Todd Lamb
“This is not going in and getting a wart removed. This is a procedure that ends a human life,” says Oklahoma state Rep. Dan Sullivan. He says the law is valid and necessary.
“And because it’s a special procedure, we believe that it’s appropriate to be able to find out why these are going on and if there is something that we can do to change that,” Sullivan says.
But abortion rights activists call the law — and the survey — intolerable….
Forty-six states have laws that require clinics and hospitals to submit some kind of reports about the abortions they perform. But clinics in Oklahoma say this law is an invasion of privacy that goes far beyond abortion reporting requirements in any other state.
Linda Meek, executive administrator of Reproductive Services in Tulsa, Okla., says it’s discouraging and intrusive to patients.
“If they want to reduce the number of abortions, then they need to concentrate on educating women about preventing unwanted pregnancies, educating them about emergency contraception, birth control — and making birth control more accessible,” Meek says.
Abortion rights groups also fear that women could be identified based on the information they provide, especially women who live in Oklahoma’s small rural communities.
How much should a woman be asked before she can have an abortion? Are any questions fair?