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Oklahoma Abortion Bill Would Require Written Consent From the Father

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A proposed bill in Oklahoma would require women to get written consent from a fetus’ father before getting an abortion, Jezebel reports.

The legislation, sponsored by Republican Rep. Justin Humphrey and introduced into the Oklahoma State Legislature last week, would require “a pregnant woman seeking to abort her pregnancy shall be required to provide, in writing, the identity of the father of the fetus to the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion.” The bill adds that the father is allowed to challenge the paternity. The bill does include exceptions for cases of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is in danger or cases where the father of the fetus has died.

Similar bills have been struck down by the nation’s high court in the past. In Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth (1976), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that requiring a women to obtain spousal consent before getting an abortion was unconstitutional. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a part of a Pennsylvania law that would require women to notify their husbands before getting the procedure.

“In no other area of law are competent adults required to seek permission from others in order to receive their medical care,” a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Great Plains told Jezebel. “We’re seeing this because the vocal minority and the extremist lawmakers continue to attempt to shame and stigmatize patients who are exercising their constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion.”


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Write to Samantha Cooney at samantha.cooney@time.com