Oklahoma Becomes Fourth State to Protect Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Abortion

WASHINGTON – Today, Oklahoma became the fourth state to enact legislation that protects from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain.. Oklahoma joins Kansas and Idaho this year, and Nebraska last year. Meanwhile, an Alabama Senate committee held a hearing today on a similar measure that has already passed that state’s House of Representatives.

Modern medical science provides substantial compelling evidence that unborn children recoil from painful stimuli, that their stress hormones increase when they are subjected to any painful stimuli, and that they require anesthesia for fetal surgery,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).  “Therefore, the states have a compelling interest in protecting unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion. Oklahoma is the fourth state to recognize this obligation by enacting the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”

At a bill-signing ceremony today, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law two pro-life bills – HB 1888, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and SB 547, the Abortion-Is-Not-Health-Care bill .

SB 547 prohibits coverage for elective abortions under health-insurance plans in Oklahoma, affirms the principle that abortion is not health care, and protects the conscience rights of pro-life premium payers so they’re not complicit in the killing of unborn children.

The Oklahoma House, led by Representative Pam Peterson, passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Protection bill with a vote of 85-7.  Oklahoma’s Senate, led by Senator Clark Jolley, passed the bill by a vote of 38-8.

As drafted by National Right to Life’s state legislation department, the model Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act protects from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain except when the mother “has a condition which so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion of her pregnancy to avert death or to avert serious risk of substantial or irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function or..it is necessary to preserve the life of an unborn child.”

Further documentation and links to the scientific studies can be found at: www.doctorsonfetalpain.com.

We commend Representative Pam Peterson, Senator Clark Jolley, and Governor Mary Fallin for their actions in protecting unborn children and helping their mothers through enactment of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” added Tony Lauinger, State Chairman of Oklahomans for Life and Executive Vice-President of the National Right to Life Committee.

 The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life organizations and more than 3,000 local chapters nationwide, is the nation’s largest pro-life group. National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.