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NRL News
Page 9
June 2010
Volume 37
Issue 6

Action Taken on Two More Oklahoma Pro-Life Bills

By Liz Townsend

As the current session of the Oklahoma legislature drew to a close May 28, members of the House and Senate ran out of time to override Gov. Brad Henry’s veto of a bill that would have prevented abortions from being covered by a state-run insurance exchange. However, earlier sin the week they successfully overrode another veto on a bill to require more detailed abortion reporting, according to The Oklahoman.

We regret being unable to override yet another pro-abortion veto by Governor Henry,” said Tony Lauinger, state chairman of Oklahomans For Life and NRLC Vice President, “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.”

These two bills made a total of eight pro-life measures passed by the legislature in this session. Henry vetoed four of them, but the legislators overrode three. One of the bills that was enacted over Henry’s veto, which requires an abortion provider to perform and describe an ultrasound, is being challenged in court.

The legislators were able to reverse Henry’s veto of House Bill 3284 May 25. According to the bill, abortionists will be required to report any complications and specific details about each abortion, including the baby’s gestational age, abortion method used, the number of previous pregnancies and abortions, and method of payment. The abortionist will also have to ask the woman for her reasons for having the abortion, although she can decline to answer.

Complications, in particular, are seldom reported, and the public is left in the dark about the damage that abortion inflicts on women,” Lauinger said. “The bill also gathers information about the reasons women seek abortions; hopefully, this information will make it possible to address underlying problems in ways that could avoid the taking of an innocent human life.”

Henry vetoed the last bill, HB 3290, just before midnight on May 26, less than 48 hours before the legislature adjourned for the year, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Since the House and Senate were still feverishly working on major budget bills that had to be passed, there was no time to devote to a veto override.

HB 3290 would have prevented a state-run health-insurance exchange, which will be created as part of ObamaCare, from offering elective abortion coverage. There would still have been an option for people to purchase such coverage with separate premiums, but no tax funds would be involved. The bill would have made Oklahoma the third state after Arizona and Tennessee to remove abortion from government-run insurance exchanges, according to the AP.

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