Tags: Abortion | Oklahoma | abortion laws | neighboring states

Oklahoma Abortion Laws and How They Differ From Neighboring States

By    |   Wednesday, 05 Aug 2015 02:42 PM

Oklahoma’s restrictive abortion laws are similar to most of the six states that border it. Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas put limits on access to abortion, but neighboring Colorado and New Mexico have more permissive abortion laws.

Oklahoma requires counseling for women before they can have an abortion. A 72-hour waiting period follows the state-sponsored counseling program before an abortion can be provided. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill in May 2015 that extended the waiting period from 24 hours, LifeNews.com reported.

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Missouri also requires a 72-hour waiting period after counseling. Arkansas, Texas and Kansas have 24-hour waiting periods. Kansas and Texas also require a woman to undergo an ultrasound in which the provider describes the image to the woman before obtaining an abortion.

Oklahoma prohibits abortion coverage for private insurance policies, insurance policies for public employees, and health plans under the Affordable Care Act except in cases of life endangerment to the woman, according to the Guttmacher Institute. However, optional riders can be purchased at additional costs for abortion coverage.

Public funding for abortion is only allowed in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, and Kansas.

On the other hand, Oklahoma’s bordering states of Colorado and New Mexico have fewer restrictions. Like Oklahoma, Colorado requires parental consent when minors seek an abortion. Colorado prohibits abortion coverage in insurance policies for public employees, and public funding is only available in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.

New Mexico has no major restrictions on abortion, Guttmacher noted, which includes no waiting periods, parental involvement or limits on public funding for abortion.

The pro-choice organization NARAL Pro-Choice America gave Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas F grades, based on what it considers harsh abortion laws. New Mexico received an A- and Colorado was given a C+ by the group.

State legislators in Oklahoma passed a law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to hospitals within 30 miles of abortion clinics or where the abortion is performed.

Supporters of the law said it would improve health care in the situations, Reuters reported. Opponents said complications with abortions are rare. Other states have proposed similar laws. The law was put on hold by the Oklahoma Supreme Court and litigation continues.

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Oklahoma's restrictive abortion laws are similar to most of the six states that border it. Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas put limits on access to abortion, but neighboring Colorado and New Mexico have more permissive abortion laws.
Oklahoma, abortion laws, neighboring states
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2015-42-05
Wednesday, 05 Aug 2015 02:42 PM
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