Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry Vetoes Pro-Life Bill for Better Abortion Reporting
by Steven Ertelt
May 24, 2010
Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — Over the weekend, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry vetoed an abortion reporting bill meant to help the state reduce abortions. Henry, who has a mixed record on signing pro-life laws and already vetoed this year a bill to allow women to see an ultrasound of their baby, disagreed with the legislature.
The Senate voted 32-11 to approve House Bill 3284, dubbed the "Statistical Abortion Reporting Act" and the House approved it on an equally lopsided 88-8 margin.
HB 3284 provides for the reporting of abortions performed in Oklahoma, the reasons abortions are sought, and the complications that result.
The measure has the support of pro-life groups as Tony Lauinger of Oklahomans for Life told LifeNews.com previously: "Knowing why women seek abortions may make it possible to solve underlying problems. The reporting of complications will allow an assessment of the untested claim that abortion is ‘safe.’"
But Henry said he objected to the bill because it doesn’t allow for exceptions in gathering the information in cases when women are victims of rape or incest.
"By forcing rape and incest victims to submit to a personally invasive questionnaire and posting the answers on a state website, this legislation will only increase the trauma of an already traumatic event,” he claimed. "Victims of such horrific acts should be treated with dignity and respect in such situations, as should all people.”
Rep. Pam Peterson, a Republican from Tulsa who sponsored the bill, told the Associated Press she is disappointed by Henry’s veto and didn’t know if an override would take place.
The Senate would need the 32 votes it gathered to make an override successful and the House would need 68 of its 88 votes.
She told AP that media outlets and abortion advocates have been "misreporting" that women’s personal information would be collected and shown on a web site, which is not true.
"If we really want to make abortions safe, legal and rare, we need this statistical reporting,” Peterson said, challenging the common pro-abortion mantra.
Two other bills Henry vetoed have been overturned — including one allowing women to see an ultrasound of their baby before an abortion and another that prevents wrongful birth lawsuits against physicians for not suggesting an abortion of a disabled baby.
Lauinger told LifeNews.com he is urging pro-life advocates to contact their state legislators to urge a veto override.
"Please send an email immediately which will reach pro-life Representatives and Senators, asking them to override the veto," he said. "With countless unborn children being killed across Oklahoma on a daily basis, requiring the abortion industry to report what they’re doing is a very small thing to ask."
"The bill will help protect the health of women by providing for reporting of complications and it will help identify reason that women have abortions which will help make it possible to address underlying problems," he said.
A similar bill passed last year but it was combined with other pro-life bills into one measure and courts struck it down as violating state law requiring every bill to deal with just one subject even though they all concerned abortion.
ACTION: Complain to Governor henry at https://www.gov.ok.gov/index.php
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