Bans Sex-Selection Abortion as
Part of Comprehensive Abortion-Reporting Law
By Dave Andrusko
of having a pro-abortion governor, Oklahoma on May 21 enacted a
comprehensive abortion-reporting bill which also prohibits
sex-selection abortions. HB 1595, the chief legislative priority of
Oklahomans For Life this session, is a multifaceted pro-life measure
which was approved overwhelmingly by both houses of the legislature.
Mary Spaulding Balch, National Right to Life’s director of state
legislation, says the reporting provisions are “the most
comprehensive in the nation.”
becoming law on May 21 was HB 1114, which bans all cloning of human
embryos, whether for “research” or “reproductive” purposes.
applaud the efforts of our Oklahoma affiliate, Oklahomans For Life,
in shepherding these two bills through the legislative process,”
said Balch. “Through the guidance and leadership provided by
Oklahomans For Life, pro-lifers have enacted a series of laws over
the past five years which protect Oklahoma mothers and their unborn
children from the abortion industry, which is often highly
Lauinger, state chairman of Oklahomans For Life, hailed the work of
pro-life legislators. “We have the greatest admiration and
appreciation for the courageous, committed, creative, and
uncompromising pro-life legislators with whom we are privileged to
work,” he said. “They don’t know the meaning of the word ‘quit.’”
Self-described “pro-choice” Democrat Governor Brad Henry broke his
recent pattern of vetoing pro-life bills and signed both bills into
law. He may have concluded that a veto would be overridden by the
legislature or, as some speculate, he may be thinking of running
against pro-life incumbent U.S. Senator Tom Coburn in the 2010 U.S.
Senate race—in which case Governor Henry may have decided to try to
make his own pro-abortion position less obvious to Oklahoma voters
by signing the bills.
governor vetoed the abortion-reporting/sex-selection bill, he faced
the probability of being overridden. On May 15, the state Senate
joined the House in giving overwhelming approval to HB 1595. The
vote was 35–9. On May 13, the vote in the House had been 88–6. There
was still no assurance Henry would sign the bill, however.
Thirty-two votes would have been required in the 48-member Senate to
override a veto had the governor followed that course.
Henry signed pro-life bills into law in both 2005 and 2006. However,
after he was re-elected in 2006 for the second and final time
(because of term limits), Henry vetoed pro-life bills in 2007 and
2008. He also vetoed a bill (HB 1326) on April 22 of this year that
would have prohibited embryo-destructive stem-cell research.
Although the House overrode the veto, the Senate came up short of
the necessary votes to override.
response, pro-life legislators inserted into another bill language
banning the cloning of human embryos. That bill, HB 1114, passed
both the House and the Senate on May 15. After having repeatedly
made the argument, in defense of his veto of HB 1326, that so-called
“surplus” embryos at fertility clinics “are going to be discarded
anyway,” the governor would have been hard-pressed to justify
vetoing a cloning ban which prohibits the creation of human lives
for the purpose of destroying them. The cloning ban passed both the
House and the Senate without opposition, and a veto of that bill
would certainly have been overridden.
override of an Oklahoma governor’s veto in the past 15 years
occurred in 2008 after Henry vetoed a bill requiring that an
ultrasound be done before an abortion is performed.
said that sex-selection abortions are a serious problem in some
parts of the world, especially in China, India, Korea, and Vietnam.
“There is evidence of the same trend among families from those
countries who live in the United States,” he said.
Gender Test Kits’ are now available online, and can determine the
sex of an unborn child as early as seven weeks after conception,”
Lauinger explained. “In an age of ‘designer’ babies, some parents
are tempted to screen for the child they want, and then turn to
abortion if the child is the ‘wrong’ sex.”
he felt about the successful conclusion of the legislative session,
Lauinger responded, “Having a self-described ‘pro-choice’ Democratic
governor is more than offset by having—for the first time in state
history—Republican pro-life majorities in both the Senate and the
House.” He added, “This strong Republican pro-life leadership made
possible the gains that were achieved this year in defending our
littlest sisters and brothers.”
mastermind behind all of this,” Lauinger said, “was, once again,
NRL’s Mary Spaulding Balch. Mary’s expertise, helpfulness,
creativity, encouragement, resilience, availability, magnanimity,
patience, and guidance were absolutely indispensable. Mary Balch is
the unborn child’s absolute best friend.”