‘Bring a Little Common Sense to the Table’: Lawmakers Weigh in after complaint filed alleging denial to medical abortion
KOKH - September 14, 2023 6:36 am
BUILDING EXTERIOR: This is OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. ORG XMIT: KOD
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KOKH) — In light of a complaint filed alleging denied access to a medical abortion in Oklahoma, FOX 25 asked whether pro-life lawmakers think state statute requires further clarification on such situations.
“I believe honestly that life happens at conception, and we protected that with the law,” shared Rep. Kevin McDugle (R-Broken Arrow) concerning his stance as a pro-life legislator.
Regarding the case at the center of the complaint, he asserted that, “There’s already in the law carveouts for emergency-type situations. So if the doctors felt like she was truly in… an emergency for her life, they could’ve performed an abortion and been within the Oklahoma law.”
He further added that, “There may be some room for clarification. But at the same time… the laws are pretty clear that if they’re in eminent danger of their life… they can perform the abortion. For whatever reason [OU Health] didn’t at that time.”
Rep. McDugle and Rep. Justin Humphrey (R-Lane) helped author one bill passed in 2022 that made it a felony to perform an abortion except to save the mother’s life in the event of a medical emergency.
“In these situations, we should narrowly define that and be able to more define that so doctors would have… more freedom to act with… certainty to know when they could act and when they couldn’t act,” asserted Rep. Humphrey regarding the complaint.
After a series of Oklahoma Supreme Court decisions, Section 861, a law passed in 1910, became the state’s principal abortion law, according to Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General.
Rep. Humphrey shared that he’s for life and is calling for constructive conversations as the state grapples with the issue and how to best move forward.
According to him, “I’m pretty much one of the most vocal on abortion. I’m a pretty loud individual. But, at the same time, I think we have to bring a little common sense to the table.”
FOX 25 asked the attorney general’s office if the public and medical professionals can expect any legal guidance on how to best interpret the state’s abortion laws.
A spokesman said the attorney general’s office will be sharing guidance, but that there is not yet a firm timeline on when that will be released.