OKLAHOMA CITY (Christian Examiner) -- Oklahoma law now bans a common second trimester abortion procedure that dismembers an unborn baby to terminate a pregnancy between 14 to 26 weeks gestation.
Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, signed the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act (HB1721) into law on April 13 the Associated Press reported. Oklahoma is the second state this month to outlaw the procedure known as dilation and evacuation (or D&E). Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, also a Republican, signed similar legislation last week and Tuesday tweeted a "welcome" to Oklahoma for joining them in banning the commonly used abortion method.
According to Tulsa World, Fallin issued a statement that called the bill "an important pro-life measure that outlaws gruesome mid-term abortions."
"I am proud to sign a law that will strengthen protections for unborn children in Oklahoma," Fallin said.
Like the Kansas law which Brownback called a "horrific procedure," the Oklahoma bill outlaws abortionists from performing the D & E procedure which uses scissors, forceps and like instruments to tear a baby to pieces in the womb and a vacuum pump to suction out the parts.
While both laws make exceptions for "serious health risk to the unborn child's mother," neither law allows for the D & E on the basis of a woman's psychological health or emotional condition. The Kansas law specifically states exception cannot be "determined to exist if it is based on a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct which she intends to result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function."
The bill's authors Rep. Physicalam Peterson, R-Tulsa, and Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate, voiced satisfaction about the governor's finalizing action.
"I am pleased that this horrific procedure to destroy an unborn child by ripping it apart limb from limb through dismemberment is now outlawed," Peterson reportedly said.
Brecheen echoed Peterson's sense of relief, noting that during "the last 15 years, over 1,500 unborn children in Oklahoma were aborted through the dismemberment procedure."
Model legislation for the bill was provided by the National Right to Life Committee, which also has legislation under consideration in Missouri and South Carolina. Carol Tobias, the organization's president, applauded the measure and called the legislation "a transformative law that has the power to change how the public views the gruesome reality of abortion in the United States."
The law goes into effect Nov. 1, 2015, and doctors who violate the new regulation could face fines up to $10,000.