Oklahoma Governor Vetoes Bill to Suspend Medical Licenses of Any Doctor Who Does Abortions

State   Steven Ertelt   May 20, 2016   |   5:14PM    Washington, DC

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who is pro-life, has vetoed a bill to strip abortionists of their medical licenses and basically ban abortions in the state. Some pro-life advocates were concerned the bill would merely be overturned in court as contravening Roe v. Wade and would not save any babies from abortion.

“The bill is so ambiguous and so vague that doctors cannot be certain what medical circumstances would be considered ‘necessary to preserve the life of the mother,'” said Fallin, who has signed other pro-life legislation. “The absence of any definition, analysis or medical standard renders this exception vague, indefinite and vulnerable to subjective interpretation and application.”

“While I consistently have and continue to support a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, this legislation cannot accomplish that re-examination,” said Fallin. “In fact, the most direct path to a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade is the appointment of a conservative, pro-life justice to the United States Supreme Court.”

The bill describes an abortion as “unprofessional conduct” and prohibits Oklahoma medical licensure officials from renewing or granting licenses to doctors who do abortions, except to save the mother’s life. Any doctor who performs an abortion in Oklahoma could be charged with a felony and punished with up to three years in prison under the bill.

The legislature appeared to have enough votes to override the veto.

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“Since I believe life begins at conception, it should be protected, and I believe it’s a core function of state government to defend that life from the beginning of conception,” said Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow,who sponsored it.

Before the veto, the Center for Reproductive Rights, a New York-based abortion group, was threatening to file a lawsuit if the measure becomes law. Unfortunately, abortion activists’ legal challenges could succeed in overturning the legislation.

“Oklahoma politicians have made it their mission year after year to restrict women’s access vital health care services, yet this total ban on abortion is a new low,” Amanda Allen, an attorney for the New-York based center said in a statement. “The Center for Reproductive Rights is closely watching this bill and we strongly urge Governor Fallin to reject this cruel and unconstitutional ban.”

Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm, who sponsored the measure, said the purpose is to protect unborn babies’ lives. Abortion activists are threatening to challenge the measure, but Dahm and state Rep. David Brumbaugh, who co-sponsored the measure in the House, staunchly defended the legislation.

“Do we make laws because they’re moral and right, or do we make them based on what an unelected judicial occupant might question or want to overturn? The last time I looked, that’s why I thought we had a separation of power,” Brumbaugh said. “It’s not about policy. It’s not about politics. It’s about principle.”

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that states cannot restrict a woman’s so-called right to abortion. Given the current U.S. Supreme Court justices’ records, the Oklahoma legislation likely would be struck down and Roe upheld. After the recent death of pro-life Justice Antonin Scalia, the high court is more likely than ever to strike down pro-life laws.

Because of Roe, American abortion laws line up with human rights abusive countries like China and North Korea in their permissiveness of abortion. The U.S. is one of four countries in the world to allow late-term abortions for any reason. Most other countries have laws restricting or banning abortion. The deadly decision has allowed more than 58 million unborn babies’ lives to be unjustly taken in the past 43 years.

Roe, a decision made by nine male justices in 1973, stands in the way of life-protecting laws that most Americans support. That’s why overturning the deadly decision Roe v. Wade has been a key strategy of pro-life groups for decades.

ACTION: Contact Governor Fallin here.

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