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Oklahoma governor vetoes bill criminalizing abortion

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    In this Tuesday, May 17, 2016 photo, Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow is pictured on the Senate floor in Oklahoma City. Dahm is the author of a bill awaiting Republican Gov. Mary Fallin’s signature that would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion. The bill has been described by critics as the first of its kind in the nation, but such measures are not uncommon in a state that GOP leaders like to describe as the reddest of the red.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) » Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed legislation that would have effectively outlawed abortion in the state by making it a felony for doctors to perform the procedure, saying the measure vague and would not withstand a legal challenge.

Fallin, a Republican who opposes abortion, vetoed the measure Friday, just a day after the Legislature passed it. The bill , which abortion-rights group Center for Reproductive Rights said was the first of its kind in the U.S., also would restrict any physician who performs an abortion from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in Oklahoma.

“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,’” Fallin wrote in her veto message . “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.”

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm, said the measure was aimed at ultimately overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Dahm said Friday that he was considering whether to try to override the governor’s veto, which would require a two-thirds majority in each chamber, a threshold that was not met in the House when the bill passed.

“Of course I’ll consider it,” Dahm said. “I’m weighing my options.”

The bill would have made it a felony punishable by up to three years in prison for anyone who performs an abortion, including doctors. State law already makes it a felony for anyone who’s not a doctor to perform an abortion, and Dahm’s bill would have removed the exemption for physicians.

The Senate approved the bill 33-12 vote with no debate on Thursday; the 101-member House approved it April 21 on a 59-9 vote.

Dahm had said Thursday after the bill’s passage that he hoped it could lead to overturning Roe v. Wade.

“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 Dahm, from Broken Arrow.

But abortion-rights supporters — and the state’s medical association — said the bill was unconstitutional. Sen. Ervin Yen, an Oklahoma City Republican and the only physician in the Senate, described the measure as “insane” and voted against it.

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Senate Bill 1552: http://bit.ly/1SxRapC

Veto message: http://bit.ly/1Tsw2jt

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  • Sad to see that other states have legislatures that are as bad as ours.

    There was no chance of this passing thru the governor’s desk precisely because of the lack of definitions in the bill. How they could have glossed over something as important as that is beside me.

    • As bad as ours? Sorry, this is far worse. Hawaii may be a bit incompetent when it comes to building things but at least they don’t take away people’s rights. Just shows why people should not vote republican.

      • Passing a bill with nothing in it, so they can go behind closed doors and make it into what ever they want isn’t taking away the People’s rights? Thanks dems.

        • Did that bill pass? I don’t think it made it out of committee? But I agree. Thank you democrats for not being like republicans who have abandoned republican values.

  • This further validates the fact that Republicans will do anything imaginable to subjugate and control women. Anything. If men could get pregnant, there would be abortion clinics on every corner in Oklahoma City. Republicans believe that women are incapable of independent thought. So mush for the concept of small and limited government. In Oklahoma, the state wants the power to control and follow every single pregnancy to term.

  • Nice to know that the republican party is now the party of big government. Uncle Ron and Barry must be spinning in their graves. Way to go republicans. You can’t beat democrats so adopt their style. lol

    • Can you imagine how large the government intrusion apparatus would need to be to follow every single pregnancy from conception to term? Talk about BIG government!

      • And what about the pregnancies that are ended by God? (miscarriages). Might as well throw those woman in jail for not protecting their fetus enough. Lets double the prison industrial complex.

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