Oklahoma Legislature Overrides Governor Henry’s Veto of Key Abortion Limits
by Steven Ertelt
April 17, 2008
Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — The Oklahoma legislature easily overrode a veto from Gov. Brad Henry of a comprehensive bill containing several key limits on abortion. Henry vetoed the bill because it didn’t contain an exception in some sections for women who want abortions in cases of rape or incest.
The Oklahoma Senate voted 37-11 to override Governor Brad Henry’s veto of the pro-life bill and the House followed suit minutes later on an 85-15 vote.
The measure would allow women considering an abortion a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child beforehand.
The bill also includes protection for the conscience rights of health care professionals to refuse to participate in abortions, puts more limits in place on the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, and makes sure women are not pressured or forced into having an abortion.
The measure also disallows so-called wrongful life lawsuits where parents can sue doctors for the birth of a disabled baby instead of suggesting an abortion.
In addition, teenagers who want an abortion would require written consent beforehand and it includes a section making sure the abortion practitioner who dispenses the dangerous abortion drug does so within FDA guidelines and reports medical problems to state officials.
"Thank you very much for your faithful and unwavering support for the unborn child," Oklahomans for Life chairman Tony Lauinger told LifeNews.com in appreciation of the legislators’ override vote.
Oklahoma now becomes the sixteenth state with an abortion-ultrasound requirement. When used in pregnancy centers the ultrasounds convince an overwhelming percentage of women to keep their baby.
Governor Henry talked about the exceptions he wanted in a statement accompanying his veto.
"While I support reasonable restrictions on abortion, this legislation does not provide an essential exemption for victims of rape and incest," he said.
"By forcing the victims of such horrific acts to undergo and view ultrasounds after they have made such a difficult and heartbreaking decision, the state victimizes the victim for a second time," he added.
The veto was the second occasion in which Henry vetoed a bill that would put abortion limits in place.
He vetoed a measure that banned the use of state funds or facilities for abortions but let a revised bill including rape and incest exceptions in the ban become state law.
Lauinger complained it marked the "second time in two years he has vetoed major pro-life legislation."
ACTION: Contact Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry and let him know your thoughts on his vetoing the abortion limits. You can find complete contact information at https://www.governor.state.ok.us/contact.php
Related web sites:
Oklahomans for Life – https://www.okforlife.org