OKLAHOMA CITY (April 13, 2011) – Members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives voted today to ensure that Oklahomans are not forced to fund abortions when they purchase insurance.
Senate Bill 547, by state Sen. Anthony Sykes and state Rep. Mike Ritze, would ensure that standard health insurance policies sold in Oklahoma do not include elective abortion coverage.
Under the bill, individuals wanting to abortion coverage could do so through by optional supplemental coverage with a separate premium.
“Oklahomans who believe in the sanctity of life should not be forced to indirectly subsidize the abortion industry,” said Ritze, a Broken Arrow Republican and a Board Certified Family Practice Physician and Surgeon who has delivered over 2,000 babies. “This legislation prevents Oklahomans from having to violate their moral beliefs if they purchase health insurance coverage.”
Senate Bill 547 previously passed the state Senate on a bipartisan 36-10 vote. Today it passed out of the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a bipartisan 84-10 vote.
Ritze thanked his fellow lawmakers who worked to secure passage, particularly state Rep. Dennis Johnson, R-Duncan.
Senate Bill 547 now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin to be signed into law.