A bill that would expand state abortion reporting requirements is headed to the governor’s desk.
“It is becoming clear that it is critical to track abortions,” said Roberts, R-Hominy. “The latest example of an alleged criminal abortionist is a Pennsylvania doctor who is accused of severing the spinal cords of newborns and performing abortions beyond the scope of the 24-week limit allowed by Pennsylvania law.”
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, is on trial for murder in Philadelphia. Testimony from several of Gosnell’s employees alleges Gosnell performed later-term abortions by inducing labor, and then severing the spinal cords of the newly-born babies while they were still alive.
House Bill 2015, by state Rep. Sean Roberts and state Sen. Kyle Loveless, would add additional questions to the Individual Abortion Form completed by the abortion provider and add additional reporting measures to the Annual Abortion Report issued by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Roberts said the bill will update reporting requirements to reflect laws passed since the Statistical Abortion Reporting Law took effect in 2010 and will give Oklahoman citizens the ability to require an abortion provider to comply with the reporting law through a “qui tam” legal action. A “qui tam” action is a legal procedure which allows private citizens to seek enforcement of a law if the government agency responsible for enforcement declines to act.
“Pennsylvania health authorities had not inspected Gosnell’s filthy clinic in 15 years. We don’t want to make that same mistake in Oklahoma,” said Roberts. “If Pennsylvania had given its citizens the ability to file qui tam actions to require reporting of abortions, some of the Gosnell horrors might have been prevented.”
House Bill 2015 requires that an abortion provider report whether or not they complied with several abortion-related laws, for instance the provisions of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which lawmakers overwhelmingly enacted two years ago. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act includes a provision in that law which requires that if a doctor deems a later-term abortion is necessary to save the mother’s life, that the procedure be done in the manner best conducive to potentially saving the baby’s life after labor is induced.
Senate amendments were accepted by the Oklahoma House of Representatives today and the bill was enrolled to be sent to the governor.