Oklahoma Governor Vetoes Fourth Abortion Bill

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

In the same week that the Oklahoma legislature managed to override the third veto by pro-abortion Governor Brad Henry of a bill to limit abortions, he has now vetoed a fourth bill that would put strict limits on when private health insurers can cover the procedure.

According to CNSNews.com, the bill would prevent state insurance exchanges, created under the new federal health care law, from covering most abortions. It would also extend the ban to outside state exchanges that operate within Oklahoma.

The Governor claims the legislation would punish victims of rape or incest by prohibiting insurance coverage for an abortion if they did not report the crime within a certain time period.
“Rape and incest victims should be treated with dignity and respect, not subjected to a state-imposed Catch-22 that denies them insurance coverage at such a critical time,” Henry said in his veto message. “HB 3290 creates an unconstitutional barrier to legal medical treatment protected by this nation’s highest court and would result in an expensive lawsuit and potentially futile legal battle for the state.”
This is the fourth pro-life bill approved by the Republican-controlled legislature this year that has been vetoed by the governor.

On Tuesday of this week, the legislature was able to override a veto of a bill that would provide for better abortion reporting so state officials can work on reducing abortions.

Lawmakers also overrode a veto of a bill allowing women to see an ultrasound of their baby before and abortion, and another law that prevents wrongful birth lawsuits against physicians for not suggesting an abortion of a disabled baby.

Rep. Skye McNiel, R-Bristow said pro-life lawmakers are deciding whether or not to try to override the veto before the Legislature adjourns today for the Memorial Day holiday.

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