Oklahoma Governor Vetoes Bill to Criminalize Abortion

Fallin-compressedOKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — The Republican governor of Oklahoma, while calling herself “the most pro-life governor in the nation,” has vetoed a bill that would have criminalized the performance of an abortion in the state and revoke the medical license of any physician who ends the life of an unborn child.

As previously reported, Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, introduced S.B. 1152 earlier this year, adding a provision to a section that regulates the way physicians are licensed in the state.

“Any physician participating in the performance of an abortion shall be prohibited from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in this state,” it reads. “No person shall perform or induce an abortion upon a pregnant woman. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than three years in the state penitentiary.”

The bill provided an exception for the life of the mother.

Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed the measure on Friday, stating that the text was too subjective and would “would not withstand a criminal constitutional legal challenge.”

“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,’” Gov. Mary Fallin said in a statement. “The absence of any definition, analysis or medical standard renders this exception vague, indefinite and vulnerable to subjective interpretation and application.”

She also opined that the effort was not the proper way to end abortion—that it must be done by the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

“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,” Fallin said. “In fact, the most direct path to a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade is the appointment of a conservative, pro-life justice to the United States Supreme Court.”

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Abortion advocacy groups applauded the veto.

“Governor Fallin did the right thing today in vetoing this utterly unconstitutional and dangerous bill,” Nancy Northup, president and chief executive of the center, said in a statement. “But the reality is countless Oklahoma women still face incredible obstacles to access safe and legal abortion when they’ve made the decision to end a pregnancy.”

But Dahm had said that one of the responsibilities of government is to protect life.

“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,” he stated.

“If we take care of morality, God will take care of the economy,” supporter David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow, also remarked.

Fallin reportedly attends Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City.


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