Okla. gov vetoes bill penalizing doctors for abortions
Oklahoma City – — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has vetoed legislation that would make it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion, a measure that would have effectively outlawed the procedure in the state.
The Republican governor issued her veto Friday. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm, said the measure was aimed at ultimately overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
The bill would have made it a felony punishable by up to three years in prison for anyone who performs an abortion, including doctors. State law already makes it a felony for anyone who’s not a doctor to perform an abortion. Dahm’s bill would have removed the exemption for physicians.
Lawmakers can still attempt a veto override, which requires a two-thirds majority in each chamber.
The bill passed 33-12 Thursday with no discussion or debate; a handful of Republicans joined with Democrats in voting against the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm.
Thursday’s vote in the Senate comes as the Oklahoma Legislature nears a May 27 deadline for adjournment and is still grappling with a $1.3 billion budget hole that could lead to deep cuts to public schools, health care and the state’s overcrowded prison system.
“Republicans don’t have an answer for their failed education policies, failing health care policies and failing fiscal policies, so what do you do in that situation?” said Senate Democratic leader Sen. John Sparks. “You come up with an emotional distraction. That’s what this bill is.”