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New ultrasound bill in Okla. praised


OKLAHOMA CITY (BP)–Convincingly overriding a veto, the Oklahoma legislature has enacted an ultrasound law described by a national pro-life organization as the best in the country.

The Oklahoma Senate voted 37-11 and the House of Representatives 81-15 on April 16 to overturn the veto of Democratic Gov. Brad Henry. The Senate easily achieved the required two-thirds majority despite being equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, according to the Tulsa World.

The new version of Oklahoma’s ultrasound law requires a medical worker to perform an ultrasound on a woman seeking an abortion, display the image of the unborn child and explain the sonogram, the World reported. The mother is not required to view the image.

“By strengthening the ultrasound provision of their law, the Oklahoma legislature has created the strongest, most protective ultrasound law in the nation,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, state legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC). “They are doing everything possible to ensure that a mother is given the opportunity to see her unborn child in real-time and learn all the facts before making the life and death decision of abortion.”

Oklahoma is one of 13 states to adopt legislation mandating that abortion doctors must at least offer a woman an opportunity to see a sonogram of the child in her womb, according to NRLC. The others are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin. Louisiana’s law is different than the others, according to NRLC, in that it does not take effect until a woman is at least 20 weeks pregnant.

Pregnancy care centers have reported dramatic upswings in clients choosing to give birth after viewing ultrasound images of their babies.
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.