A new law is on the books that would allow families of women who receive abortions to sue the abortion provider.
Senate Bill 1728, known as the Unborn Person Wrongful Death Act, allows women who have had an abortion or their parents, grandparents or other family members to sue an abortion provider if they feel the woman obtained the abortion under a list of fraudulent means.
“So what that means is if they’re lying to the woman, they’re not checking to see if they’re being coerced and performing the abortion anyway, if they’re not warning them about the psychological or physical side effect of it, those kind of things are what we’re screening for,” said the bill’s author, Senator David Bullard (R) Durant.
The law has a two year statute of limitations starting from what it calls the “Moment of Realization.”
“So, a lot of times the effects of the abortion get delayed on the woman until she realizes what it is that she has done. And so, there is a delay on that for two years on the moment of realization,” Bullard said.
Pro-choice advocates said the law goes too far.
“Oklahoma law already allows for a wrongful death remedy. This type of civil remedy to be brought against an abortion provider in the act of negligence. So, this law now expands it to coercion,” said Tamya Cox-Toure of Planned Parenthood Great Plains. “Coercion is not something that is happening in abortion care. Doctors and providers are required to go through a whole list of questioning.”
“Sixty-nine percent of women are coerced. That’s according to a website called afterabortion.com.And there’s other sources too that collaborate that too,” Bullard said.
“He was citing a very propaganda, anti-choice, anti-abortion group that was not based in science,” Cox-Toure responded.
Planned Parenthood isn’t ruling out court action to stop the law from taking effect.
The new law goes into effect November 1.