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Oklahoma governor signs law requiring abortion centers to have doctor with admitting privileges

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, May 29, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed the nation's newest admitting privileges law for abortion doctors on Wednesday.

The law, which passed the state Senate 34-9 and the state House 60-8, specifies that while abortions are being performed, abortion facilities must have a physician on its premises with admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

The law also requires the State Board of Health to create equipment, training, and other standards for abortion clinics. Clinics must also report any injured abortion patients to the Board of Health and "appropriate licensing and regulatory boards" in writing, as well as if any "born-alive" children are injured.

For abortion clinic owners, violations of the Board of Health's standards bear legal and financial burdens. "The operation of an unlicensed facility will be considered a felony, and any reckless violation of the measure or its standards will be considered a felony. Any violation of the measure may result in a civil penalty or a fine not to exceed $25,000," the law states.

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Former three-term State Rep. George Faught, who is running for re-election to his old seat, told LifeSiteNews the law "represents what we want as a conservative state that protects the unborn and provides the best health care for women."

Fallin's administration has overseen passage of numerous pro-life laws, including two restricting the use of RU-486. Her state joins nearby Texas and Missouri in requiring the admitting privileges. Similar laws have been enacted in Kansas, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah, and have been blocked in Alabama, Mississippi, and Wisconsin while courts hear challenges. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is expected to sign a similar law this week.

The Texas law has been particularly successful in closing abortion clinics, with at least one-third of the state's abortion centers closing since the law was enacted.

A request for comment from Fallin's office was not immediately returned by press time.

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