Restrictive Abortion Laws: Parallels Between Arizona and Oklahoma

bill-from-capitol-hillWe recently broke the bad news about a new abortion law in Oklahoma that requires information about women who obtain abortions to be published on a public website. One aspect of the law that has received less attention, however, is that the new bill changes the definition of pregnancy. According to HB 1595:

“Unborn child” means the unborn offspring of human beings from the moment of conception, through pregnancy, and until live birth including the human conceptus, zygote, morula, blastocyst, embryo and fetus; . . .

“Conception” means the fertilization of the ovum of a female individual by the sperm of a male individual;

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnancy does not actually occur until a fertilized egg has been implanted in the uterus. Two-thirds of eggs are never actually implanted into the uterus, and many birth control methods, such as an IUD or Emergency Contraception, prevent implantation. Although the bill states that “nothing contained herein shall be construed in any manner to include any birth control device or medication or sterilization procedure,” the bill effectively does prohibit IUDs and Emergency Contraception by defining abortion as “the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device intentionally to terminate the pregnancy of a female” when pregnancy is defined from the moment of conception. [Read more...]