Victory in Oklahoma!

Late last year Oklahoma voted into law a measure that would force doctors to collect private medical information about women who have abortions. This was widely decried and protested by pro-choice organizations around the country, such as Feminists for Choice and the fine people at Jezebel.

This law would have collected forms that gathered the following information:

  • Date of abortion
  • County in which abortion was performed
  • Age of mother
  • Marital status of mother [married, divorced, separated, widowed, or never married]
  • Race of mother
  • Years of education of mother [specify highest year completed]
  • State or foreign residence of mother
  • Total number of previous pregnancies of mother [live births, miscarriages, induced abortions]
  • Approximated gestational age in weeks, as measured from the menstrual cycle of the mother, of the unborn child subjected to abortion
  • Method of abortion used:

Suction aspiration

Dilation and Curettage

RU 486

Methotrexate

Other drug/chemical/medicine [specify]

Dilation and Evacuation

Saline

Urea

Prostoglandins

Partial Birth Abortion

Hysterotomy

Other [specify]

  • Was there an infant child born alive as a result of the abortion

If yes:

Were life-sustaining measures undertaken?

How long did the infant survive?

  • Was anesthesia administered to the mother?

If yes, what type?

  • Was anesthesia administered to the fetus?

If yes:

What type?

How was it administered?

  • Method of fetal tissue disposal
  • The abortion provider or agent shall ask the pregnant woman to provide, orally or in writing, the reason(s) she is seeking an abortion.

REASON FOR SEEKING AN ABORTION [check all applicable]:

Having a baby:

Would dramatically change the life of the mother

Would interfere with the education of the mother

Would interfere with the job/employment/career of the mother

Mother has a child or other dependents

Mother cannot afford the child

Mother is unmarried

Mother is a student or is planning to be a student

Mother cannot afford childcare

Mother cannot afford basic needs of life

Mother is unemployed

Mother cannot leave job to care for a baby

Mother would have to find a new place to live

Mother does not have enough support from husband or partner

Husband or partner is unemployed

Mother is currently or temporarily on welfare or public assistance

Mother does not want to be a single mother

Mother is having relationship problems

Mother is not certain of relationship with father of the child

Partner and mother are unable to or do not want to get married

Mother is not currently in a relationship

The relationship or marriage of the mother may soon break up

Husband or partner is abuse to the mother or her children

Mother has completed her childbearing

Mother is not ready for a, or another, child

Mother does not want people to know she had sex or became pregnant

Mother does not feel mature enough to raise a, or another, child

Husband or partner wants mother to have an abortion

There may be possible problem affecting the health of the fetus

Physical health of the mother is at risk

Parents want mother to have an abortion

Emotional health of the mother is at risk

Mother suffered a medical emergency as defined in Section 1-738.1 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes

Mother wanted a child of a different sex

Abortion is necessary to avert the death of the mother

Pregnancy was a result of forcible rape

Pregnancy was a result of incest

Other [specify]

Patient was asked why she is seeking an abortion, but declined to give a reason

  • Method of insurance [check one]:

Private insurance

Public health plan

Medicaid

Private pay

Other [specify]

  • Type of medical health insurance coverage, if any [check one]:

Fee-for-service insurance company

Managed care company

Other [specify]

  • Sum of fees collected
  • Specialty area of medicine of the physician
  • Was ultrasound equipment used before, during, or after the performance of this abortion?

Before? Vaginal, abdominal, or both?

During? Vaginal, abdominal, or both?

After? Vaginal, abdominal, or both?

  • If ultrasound equipment was used, was the ultrasound, as required by Section 1-738.3b of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, performed by a:

Physician

Certified Technician as defined in Section 1-730 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statute

  • Was the information required by paragraph 1 of subsection B of Section 1-738.2 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes provided to the mother?

a. If yes was it provided to the mother

In person

By telephone

b. Was it provided by:

A referring physician

The physician performing the abortion

An agent of the referring physician

An agent of the physician performing the abortion

  • Was the information required by paragraph 2 of subsection B of Section 1-738.2 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes provided to the mother?

a. If yes was it provided to the mother

In person

By telephone

b. Was it provided by:

A referring physician

The physician performing the abortion

An agent of the referring physician

An agent of the physician performing the abortion

  • Did the mother avail herself of the ability to have the printed materials described in Section 1-738.3 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes mailed to her?
  • Were the informed consent requirements of Subsection B of Section 1-738.2 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes dispensed with because of a medical emergency necessitating an emergency abortion:

To avert death

To avert substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function arising from continued pregnancy

  • Was the probably gestational age of the unborn child twenty [20] weeks or more?

a. If yes, was the mother provided the information described in Subsection A of Section 1-738.8 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes?

1. If yes was it provided to the mother

In person

By telephone

2. Was it provided by:

A referring physician

The physician performing the abortion

An agent of the referring physician

An agent of the physician performing the abortion

b. Did the mother choose to be given or mailed the materials described in Section 1-738.10 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes?

c. To the best of the information and belief of the reporting physician, did the mother go on to obtain the abortion?

  • Was the abortion provided within the scope of employment of an Oklahoma state employee or an employee of an agency of subdivision of the state?
  • Was the abortion performed with the use of any public institution, public facility, public equipment, or any other physical asset owned, leased, or controlled by this state, its agencies, or political subdivisions?
  • If the answer to question 27 or 28 is yes:

a. Was the abortion necessary to save the life of the mother?

If yes, what was the life-endangering condition?

b. Did the pregnancy result from forcible rape?

If yes, list the law enforcement authority to which the rape was reported

List the date of the report

c. Did the rape result from an act of incest committed against a minor?

If yes, list the law enforcement authority to which the perpetrator was reported

List the date of the report

THIS PORTION TO BE COMPLETED IN CASE OF MINOR

  • Minor’s age
  • Was a parent of the minor provided notice prior to the abortion as described in Section 1-740.2 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes?

a. If yes, how was the notice provided?

In person

By mail

b. If yes, to the best of the reporting physician’s knowledge and belief, did the minor go on to obtain the abortion?

  • Was informed written consent of one parent obtained as described in Section 1-740.2 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes?

If yes, how was it secured?

In person

Other [specify]

  • If no notice was provided nor consent obtained, please indicate which of the following apply:

Minor was emancipated

Abortion was necessary to prevent the death of the minor

Medical emergency, as defined in Section 1-738.1 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, existed

Minor received judicial authorization to obtain abortion without parental notice or consent

  • If no notice was provided nor consent obtained because a medical emergency existed, please indicate:

Whether parent was subsequently notified [state period of time elapsed before notice was given]

Whether judicial waiver of notice requirement was obtained

  • If the minor obtained judicial authorization to obtain an abortion without parental notice or consent, please indicate which of the following applies:

Judge ruled that minor was mature enough to give informed consent on her own

Judge ruled that abortion was in the best interest of the minor

  • If the female was a minor at the time of conception, please indicate the age of the father of the unborn child at the time of conception
  • If at the time of conception the ages of the mother and father were such that a violation of Section 1111, 1112, 1114, or 1123 of Title 21 or Section 7115 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes occurred, was the rape or abuse reported to the proper authorities

Filed this day of , by:

[Name of physician]

[Physician’s license number]

As you can see, this list of questions is not only humiliating [how many other abortions have you had, Mrs. Jones?] but idiotic [oh, you can’t have an abortion due to rape unless it’s forcible rape AND has been reported to the police!] and illegal [this sort of information is, I am near positive, protected under HIPPA, and so not only collecting it but publishing it online is a violation of the patient’s privacy but illegal].

When this came to light a lot of people sprang into action.  Phone calls, letters, protests, all to let the lawmakers and State Supreme Court know that this “law” was horribly wrong.

And now, as of Feb. 19th 2010, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma has ruled the law unconstitutional.  This, obviously, is a major victory for women’s rights and pro-choicers everywhere, but especially in Oklahoma.  While it’s sad that it had to come to a court ruling to protect a legal medical procedure, I’m glad that the Court, even in a notoriously conservative state, was able to hand down such a ruling.

Even though we have this victory, however, we cannot rest on our laurels, but keep pushing ever-onward, towards a day when no woman is harassed outside of a clinic.  Where no woman is called a “baby killer” for going in to get her PAP smear.  Where no woman is shamed into keeping a child she cannot bear.  And oh, what a day that will be.

I only hope I’m still around to see it.

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1 Comment

  1. February 23, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    […] Tags: political As you may remember, on Feb. 19th of this year, the Oklahoma Supreme Court handed down a decision declaring an “information collecting” law to be unconstitutional.  Feminists and […]


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