Oklahoma gives mothers more time for abortion alternatives

Women in the US state of Oklahoma who are seeking an abortion will now have 72 hours to reflect on their decision, following the approval of new legislation.

On Wednesday last week, Governor Mary Fallin passed a Bill into law which triples the previous waiting time of 24 hours.

The Bill, which makes Oklahoma the fourth state to introduce a 72 hour waiting period, will take effect on 1 November 2015.

Exploring alternatives

Governor Fallin said that the new law will “allow for more time to consider medical risks as well as explore alternatives to abortion, such as adoption”.

Also written into the law is a requirement for abortion clinics to include a link to a pro-life website on their own site.

Several other states have voted to introduce similar legislation. In North Carolina, a Bill to increase the wait time for an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours was approved by 74 votes to 45.

Similar proposals

In Tennessee, the House of Representatives and the Senate both approved a 48 hour waiting period by large majorities.

And in Florida, legislators have approved a Bill which would oblige women to wait 24 hours.

The proposals in each of these states must be signed by the state Governor to become law.

A total of 24 states require women to wait at least 24 hours before an abortion.

Informed consent

The Tennessee House of Representatives is also considering an amendment which would bring in mandatory counselling, or “informed consent”.

Republican politician Rick Womick introduced the proposals requiring ultrasounds, and hopes the change in the law will “fully inform the mother of what she is doing”.

Related Resources