New abortion law causing confusion

September 30, 2011 4:01:26 PM PDT
The new newly passed Women's Right to Know Bill, or House Bill 845, is causing confusion in the way it is worded.

There also is confusion about when the law goes into effect. Most state laws go into effect on October 1.

The bill strengthens the state's informed consent laws and requires doctors show women their ultrasounds, and turn up the volume of the fetus' heartbeat and. It also requires women to wait 24 hours before the procedure.

According to the bill itself, section three says it goes into effect 90 days after becoming law, which puts the date at October 26.

The bill also says legal claims against doctors, who don't follow the law, can start October 1, and the legislature's bill drafting division indicates a start date of October 28 posted on its website. Even one of the bill's main architects, Representative Paul Stam, acknowledges the confusion.

"There definitely is in people's minds because their lawsuit says Oct 26, and I read a newspaper article today that said Oct 1, but when you look at it, it's clear that it's one for one part and one for the other," Stam said.

Stam says the bill is clear and doctors can be held accountable after October 1, but lawsuits can't be filed until October 26.

"The duty is there tomorrow, the remedy is there on the 26, so if you're a doctor, tomorrow is the day this law kicks in," Stam explained. "If I were a doctor, I would start following it tomorrow."

Critics say Stam is wrong, but after a day of digging, ABC11 couldn't find anyone to provide a definitive answer.

A judge has been assigned to a lawsuit that was filed on September 29. The lawsuit is intended to block the legislation, but that almost certainly won't happen before October 1, when some say the law kicks in.

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