Abortion-drugs measure gets OK from Senate committee

By BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau

OKLAHOMA CITY – A Senate committee passed a measure Monday that would require a doctor to be physically present when a woman takes medicine to induce an abortion.  House Bill 2381 by Sen. Kim David, R-Wagoner, now heads to the Senate floor after securing approval from the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

The measure would apply to RU-486, also called Mifepristone, or any other drug or chemical used for abortion.  Under the terms of the bill, a doctor would not be able to watch a woman take the pill via videoconference, David said.

The measure would preserve the relationship between the physician and the woman, she said.

Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, said the bill implies that “women aren’t smart enough to take a pill.” When the pill is prescribed, both the woman and the physician know its purpose, he said. Wilson said politics were behind the measure.

Sen. Constance Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, who opposed the bill, said, “I have been here six years, and we have rolled out every kind of hit on abortion you can imagine.” Some have been challenged in court and were overturned, she said.  “I know there is outrage now among Oklahoma women,” Johnson said.

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