OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, April 29, 2014 ( – The Oklahoma House of Representatives voted 75-to-15 last Thursday to approve a bill that would tighten safety restrictions at abortion clinics and place strict limits on embryonic experimentation. The move comes on the heels of Governor Mary Fallin’s signing a new law restricting the use of abortion drug RU-486 in the state.

Thursday’s legislation, previously passed by the Senate, requires abortion facilities to have a doctor with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital on the premises whenever abortions are performed.

It would also order the Oklahoma Board of Health to issue regulations ensuring all abortion clinics keep and maintain emergency supplies and equipment to be used in the case of life-threatening complications, and adhere to uniform medical screening and evaluation standards for patients and procedures.

The bill's author, Rep. Randy Grau, R-Edmond, told the Times Record-News that the legislation was intended to make sure abortion centers are ready to handle medical emergencies in case of complications.

“I don't have a problem holding [abortion clinics] to a higher standard” than they are currently being held, Grau said.

On Thursday, the House gave the bill its stamp of approval, but further added an amendment banning “nontherapeutic research that destroys a human embryo or subjects a human embryo to substantial risk of injury or death.” Violation of the law will result at least one year in prison and a fine of no less than $100,000.

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The amended legislation drew strong bipartisan support, including from Democrat Rebecca Hamilton of Oklahoma City, who said an embryo used in medical and scientific research is “a human being. If standing for human life is wrong, then I don't want to be right.”

Now, the amended legislation must go back to the Senate for final approval before it goes to Governor Fallin’s desk for her expected signature.


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