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October 15, 2018, 09:09:48 am
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Author Topic: "anti-abortion" riders added to sex offender bill  (Read 838 times)
« on: April 27, 2006, 02:46:35 pm »

From Tulsa World

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The state House on Wednesday approved a series of anti-abortion amendments to a bill whose primary intent is limiting where sex offenders can live.

The amendments to Senate Bill 1742 would require parental consent before a minor female could have an abortion; would require that women seeking abortions be given information about the pain a fetus can suffer during abortions; and would require that women seeking abortions have access to ultrasound so they can view the fetus before surgery.

The bill's original intent was to define more clearly limitations pertaining to sex offenders.

The House approved the amendments 84-5.

Rep. Lisa Billy, R-Purcell, argued for the changes.

She said she has good friends who have horrible regrets about having had abortions and that they might have made other decisions if they had had more information.

"They still face the nightmares of that choice they made long ago when they didn't have all the choices," Billy said.

The same issues previously were approved by the House and were killed in the Senate, leading one legislator to question whether the amendments
were added in a serious attempt to accomplish something or to please a prominent anti-abortion lobbyist.

Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove, an emergency room doctor on weekends, said the measures already have been aired in the Legislature and have no chance of becoming law.

"I tend to value the opinion of a female patient that has walked in those shoes more than I do a male lobbyist," he said.

After the floor debate, Cox confirmed that he was referring to Tony Lauinger of Tulsa, who frequently is at the Capitol to press for anti-abortion legislation. Lauinger is a leader with Oklahomans for Life.

Lauinger said: "As a former unborn child, I am honored to speak in defense of an unborn child, and am not paid for my advocacy of life.

"Any implication that men are disqualified from speaking in defense of the protection of innocent human lives is unfounded," he added.

Cox, the only physician in the Legislature, chastised his fellow Republicans for approving a bill that would allow punitive damages to be assessed against doctors.

"For those of you on my side of the aisle, I thought we were trying to argue against punitive damages or cap punitive damages.

"Are we really for tort reform or only when it is political to our advantage?" he asked. "With all the roadblocks we are setting up, women are too ashamed to go to a qualified abortion clinic."

Billy said the amendments aren't about blocking anything but are about spreading important information needed by women who must make difficult choices.

She said the measure would empower women because it would give them more information.

Although he was debating against the bill, Cox said he would vote for it because of certain good aspects of it.
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