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With so much public focus on health care reform in anticipation of next week's vote in the Senate, the issue of abortion has been out of public purview. However, out of sight is not out of mind.
According to a new Oklahoma state abortion law, details of women who undergo the procedure will be posted online and viewable to the public. Physicians will be required to collect the information from women and will forward it to the state Health Department which will then post the information. Details of abortions of Oklahoma women will be posted online and will be viewable to the public.
According to the Huffington Post, The abortion law requires online publication of the answers to the following eight questions:
1) Date of abortion
2) Country in which abortion is performed
3) Age of mother
4) Marital status of mother
5) Race of mother
6) Years of education of mother
7) State or foreign country of residence of mother
8) Total number of previous pregnancies of the mother
Personal identifying information such as names, addresses, or informational specifically identifying any patient will not be posted. But, groups opposing the abortion law argue that in smaller communities the information posted may be enough to identify the woman.
Not all Oklahomans are taking the law sitting down. Two women are challenging the new abortion law claiming that it will require "unlawful expenditure of public funds" which are anticipated to be over $280,000 to initiate and over $250,000 in to maintain annually. The plaintiffs in the suit also argue that the bill violates the Oklahoma state constitution.
The law goes into effect on November 1st 2009. But the debate around it has been going on since the bill was signed into law in late May 2009.