Oklahoma Won’t Override Veto of Bill Stopping Abortion Funding in Health Care

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 28, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Oklahoma Won’t Override Veto of Bill Stopping Abortion Funding in Health Care

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 28
, 2010

Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — The Oklahoma state legislature will not attempt to override a veto by Governor Brad Henry of a fourth pro-life bill. This measure would have allowed the state to opt out of the massive abortion funding found in the government-run health care bill President Barack Obama signed into law.

The bill would have made the state the fourth to opt out of at least some of the abortion funding — following Arizona, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

Rep. Skye McNiel, a Republican who is the House sponsor of the bill, is not going to press for a veto override vote.

That’s because the legislature has to adjourn by 5:00 p.m. today and there is not enough time to get a veto override vote in before the session adjourns. McNiel said lawmakers can come back next year and approve the opt-out bill before the government-run health care scheme takes effect.

Tony Lauinger, the head of Oklahomans for Life, the statewide pro-life group, told LifeNews.com today that he understands the problems with getting a vote.

As a coach once said, "We didn’t lose; we just ran out of time," Lauinger recalled.

"With less than two hours remaining in this year’s legislative
session before the constitutionally-mandated adjournment time of 5:00 p.m.
today, the House still has several budget bills that have to be enacted in
order to fund essential government services for the coming fiscal year," he explained.

Lauinger faulted Governor henry for not giving legislators enough time for an override.

"The governor waited till the eleventh hour to veto HB 3290, leaving the legislature very little time to act. And, of course, the governor knew the workload that remained for the House and Senate in the final days because he and they had just reached a budget agreement which then necessitated enacting scores of individual funding bills," he said.

The pro-life Oklahoma leader told LifeNews.com the state legislative session was an excellent one for pro-life advocates.

"We regret being unable to override yet another pro-abortion veto by Governor Henry, but we applaud the Oklahoma House and Senate for their magnificent accomplishments this year in defending unborn children, expectant mothers, and pro-life health-care professionals," Lauinger said.

"We look forward to working with our legislators to enact the bill restricting insurance coverage for elective abortions next year," he said.

Henry said his primary reason for vetoing the measure was because rape and incest victims may not be able to get taxpayer funds to pay for their abortion — even though the bill has an exemption for rape and incest to conform with federal law.

"By requiring these victims and other women to prospectively purchase separate and special abortion insurance before a pregnancy occurs, House Bill 3290 unfairly and punitively limits the health options of these individuals," Henry said.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour made his the third state to enact a law that would allow it to opt out of some of the federal abortion funding in the health care bill.

The state follows Arizona and Tennessee in having such a law on the books.

Under the new health care law, states will be in charge of their own health care exchanges that are available for individuals and small businesses. The new laws in those three states will keep any insurance plans on the state exchanges from offering abortion coverage.

The exchange doesn’t go into effect until 2014 and states are filing lawsuits seeking to stop the pro-abortion health care bill in its other pro-abortion provisions entirety, but states are moving now to exercise their right to opt out of some of the abortion funding.

ACTION: Complain to Governor Henry at https://www.gov.ok.gov/index.php

Related web sites:
Oklahomans for Life – https://www.okforlife.org

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