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IPFS News Link • Pro-life/Pro Choice

Oklahoma Pols Want a Database of Everyone Who Has an Abortion

•, Emily Shugerman

The so-called Oklahoma Right To Human Life Act, authored by state Rep. Kevin West, passed out of the Public Health Committee last week and moves to a full House vote next month. The bill would require the Oklahoma State Department of Health to create a database in which each patient is identified by a "unique patient identifier" to track how many abortions a patient has and when. That information and the identity of the patient could be released to authorities under a court order.

Oklahoma already outlaws all abortions except when necessary to save the life of the mother, without exceptions for rape or incest.

Tamya Cox-Toure, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma, said the law could discourage patients from seeking abortions during a medical emergency and discourage doctors from performing them.

"People who are ending their pregnancy for medical reasons—to save the health of the pregnant person—are the people who are going to be part of this database," she told The Daily Beast.

"Even in a situation where ending the pregnancy saves the life of the pregnant person, there's still a lot of stigma that happens," she added. "So the idea that a patient is forced to give this information goes against doctor-patient confidentiality as well as patient-informed consent."

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House Minority leader Cyndi Munson agreed, telling The Daily Beast: "It's just a way to continue to create fear and shame, not just for those seeking abortions but also any physician who provides reproductive healthcare."