Republican Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Ban Abortion In Oklahoma

REUTERS/Mike Theile

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed an unprecedented abortion bill Friday that would effectively ban abortions in the state.

The bill would make performing an abortion a felony for anyone who is not a doctor, and strip the medical license of any doctor who performs an abortion, except to save the life of the mother.

Fallin, who is rumored to be a potential vice presidential pick for Republican candidate Donald Trump and has previously signed pro-life bills, announced Friday she vetoed the bill because it would not withstand a constitutional challenge and is too vague in its wording.

“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 said in a statement.

Here is the relevant text of the bill:

No person shall perform or induce an abortion upon a pregnant woman unless that person is a physician licensed to practice medicine in the State of Oklahoma. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not less than one (1) year nor more than three (3) years in the State Penitentiary. B. Any physician participating in the performance of an abortion shall be prohibited from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in this state.

Pro-choice opponents of the bill were gearing up to sue on the grounds it would unconstitutionally ban abortions in the state.

“Governor Fallin did the right thing today in vetoing this utterly unconstitutional and dangerous bill,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement.

The bill sailed through the Senate and the House of the Republican-dominated Oklahoma legislature in recent votes, but it remains to be seen whether the measure has enough support to overturn Fallin’s veto.

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