Oklahoma Bill Amending Informed Consent Law (HB 2685)
Last updated: May 5, 2014
**HB 1409 amended this law to increase the waiting period time from 24 hours to 72 hours.
HB 2685 amends Oklahoma’s informed consent law and creates additional reporting requirements.
Informed Consent/Waiting Period
In cases where a woman seeks an abortion of a fetus diagnosed with a fetal anomaly incompatible with life, the physician who is to perform the abortion (or the physician’s agent) must inform the woman of the following 24 hours before the abortion: (1) that perinatal hospice services are available; (2) this service is an alternative to abortion; (3) that she has the right to review printed materials described in the bill; (4) that these materials are available on a state-sponsored website; and (5) what the website address is where she can access this information.
The bill contains an exception for abortions performed in cases of medical emergencies. The bill defines “medical emergency” as “any condition which, on the basis of the physician’s good-faith clinical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant female as to necessitate the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or for which a delay will create serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”
The bill requires the State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision to publish materials regarding available perinatal hospice and palliative care within ninety days after the passage of the act. The Board is also required to develop and maintain a website to provide the aforementioned information.
If a physician performs an abortion as a result of a medical emergency, the physician must inform the female, prior to the abortion if possible, of the medical indications supporting the physician’s judgment that an abortion is necessary.
The bill requires the State Board to create a reporting form for physicians containing a reprint of the bill and other information within ninety days after the passage of the bill. The form must be available to all physicians licensed to practice in the state within one hundred twenty days after enactment; to all newly licensed physicians; and by December 1 of each year. The bill also requires the State Board to issue a public report providing statistics compiled from the submitted reports by June 30 of each year.
Physician Reporting Requirements
The bill requires physicians to report information regarding, among other things, the number of women who were provided state-sanctioned information required by the bill, how many women went on to obtain an abortion, and how many abortion resulted from medical emergencies. The bill provides for penalties if physicians do not submit reports in a timely manner.
The bill states that a violation of the informed consent provisions would be a felony.
The bill permits civil action by the father or grandparents against a physician who violates the informed consent provision, and provides that the court must rule whether the anonymity of any female who has had or attempted an abortion be preserved in civil or criminal proceedings brought under the law.