Governor Vetoes Anti-Abortion Bill

Wednesday, April 18th 2007, 1:59 pm
By: News On 6

Governor Brad Henry has tabled an Oklahoma anti-abortion bill. While some are happy about it, the senator from Tulsa who wrote the bill is outraged. The state House and Senate approved Senate Bill 714, but Henry didn't agree with them. So the anti-abortion legislation won't become law, but the News On 6’s Latoya Silmon reports Senator James Williamson of Tulsa says the fight isn't over yet.

It's a bill that had some doctor's divided, but the state government overwhelming approved Senate Bill 714. It prohibits any state employees and facilities from using state funds for an abortion. They also can't encourage the procedure unless the mother's life is in danger.

"This is another instance where the legislature is getting into the doctor patient relationship and preventing the physician from meeting the patient's needs and instead, presenting a narrow political view to patients and that's not what physician do," said Dr. Scott Spear.

Spear says there's a misconception about the type of people who seek abortions.

“We see women from all walks of life and all kinds of economic spectra,” he said. “An unplanned pregnancy can happen to anybody.”

And he says all of them should have a choice. For now, they will. Henry vetoed the bill.

"It finally shows the governor's pro-abortion bent," said Williamson.

In a statement, Henry says he believes all abortions are a tragedy, but the bill is flawed. Henry says it didn't include exemptions for cases of incest or rape. In fatal birth defect cases, he says it would force women to carry full term adding to their suffering and medical costs.

"The excuses he uses in his veto message are the same excuses put out by the pro-abortion groups that oppose the bill also,” said Williamson.

Williamson says he's shocked and stunned that the Governor would ignore the will of the legislature. He plans to appeal. To override the governor's veto, Williamson says he needs 32 Senate votes and 68 votes in the House.

Related stories:

1/14/2007 - State Lawmakers Seek To Build On Anti-Abortion Laws

3/12/2007 - House Blocks Distribution Of Abortion Literature

3/14/2007 - House Votes To Tighten Abortion Requirements

4/3/2007 - State House Passes Measure To End Medicaid Abortions

4/8/2007 - Oklahoma House Ignores Its Doctor In Abortion Debate