Roundup: Henry Vetoes Data Act, Crist Still Just Sitting There

Robin Marty

Oklahoma's governor vetoes an abortion restriction, Florida's governor is still waiting for something, and a judge in Nebraska may be acting on his own set of beliefs.

On Saturday, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry vetoed the Statistical Reporting of Abortions Act, a 30-plus question survey that was created to be filled out by every woman in the state seeking an abortion.  The act, which was previously struck down by the state supreme court due to a violation of the single issue law statute, has drawn criticism from many for being both too invasive, making it possible to identify the women seeking abortions, and for the extreme cost with which the reporting system would then burden state to enact.

In his decision to veto the act, Gov. Henry referred to it as “flawed,” according to Tulsa World.

Henry said he supported reasonable abortion restrictions but that House Bill 3284 had several flaws, including the lack of an exemption for rape and incest victims.

“By forcing rape and incest victims to submit to a personally invasive questionnaire and posting the answers on a state website, this legislation will only increase the trauma of an already traumatic event,” Henry said. “Victims of such horrific acts should be treated with dignity and respect in such situations, as should all people.”

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Henry also took time in his statement to point out that the reporting act is most likely unconstitutional, and that to defend it would cost the state too much money.

The governor said House Bill 3284, which is similar to an earlier measure that was ruled unconstitutional by the courts, had numerous flaws and would ultimately result in another expensive and possibly futile legal battle for the state.

Henry said the latest version is also unconstitutional.

“Requiring patients to publicly reveal highly intimate and personal details of their lives to obtain a medical procedure protected by this nation’s highest court constitutes an unconstitutional invasion of privacy and barrier to legal medical treatment,” Henry said.

Although many of Henry’s vetoed abortion bills have then been overridden by the legislature, there may be a possibility that this one will not be, NewsOK reports.

The author of an abortion reporting bill nixed by the governor said Saturday she will talk with leaders in the House of Representatives about seeking a veto override this week, the last week of this year’s legislative session.

It will require a two-thirds vote of members in each chamber to override the governor’s veto. A veto override will require 68 votes in the House and 32 votes in the Senate.

HB 3284 would have required the Health Department to have the reporting forms available on its website by April 2012 and to notify physicians in the state about the requirements to report abortion-related information. The measure also would have required the Health Department to publish annual abortion reports on its website.

The House of Representatives passed the measure 88-8. The Senate passed it 32-11.

But with legislative leaders hustling to get bills that are vital to completing a $6.7 billion budget for the 2011 fiscal year by Friday’s deadline, it may be determined there’s not enough time or it may be too distracting to attempt a veto override, Rep. Pam Peterson said.

“I’ll confer with leadership on this and see what he wants to do in these last days of session,” said Peterson, R-Tulsa. “I think we have the votes in the House to override it.”

Because the bill didn’t require reporting measures to start until 2012 and the first report wasn’t to be available until 2013, it may be simpler just to file a similar bill next session, she said.

Meanwhile, in Florida, the waiting continues on whether or not Governor Charlie Crist is going to veto the mandatory ultrasound law passed by the legislature at the end of the previous session.  According to the Palm Beach Post News, email actions are getting a little, um…tense.

Not since the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case has Florida found itself so tangled in the politics of emotion.

Even the language is apocalyptic.

“Pray, pray, pray. Pray that the Governor will be a man of his word (and) take action now that is truly pro-life by signing and not vetoing this bill,” reads a “critical alert” e-mail sent to the anti-abortion Florida Family Policy Council’s 50,000-name mailing list.

And letters to the editors are getting just as pushy.

Get a mortgage or car loan and you are required to sign a truth-in-lending statement. Make an investment and you are inundated with required information. So why is this bill considered an imposition for such a life-impacting event as an abortion?

I have seen the tears of a woman even long after an abortion. If this law prevents the lifelong regret and/or depression of even a handful of women, it will be worth it.

People will disagree on whether a fetus represents human life. I’m of the opinion that recent science confirms the traditional religious view that it does.

Let mothers see the scan, Mr. Governor.

Yet ironically, one of the people who is now saying the bill should be vetoed is one of the only two female legislators to vote for it in the first place.  And, she’s running for governor.  From

As a state senator, Paula Dockery was one of two women to vote for a bill requiring women seeking abortions in the first trimester to get ultrasound exams.

But as a candidate for governor, Dockery told a St. Petersburg crowd Friday, she would veto the very same bill.

“If I was governor, would I sign the bill? No,” said Dockery, a Republican from Lakeland.

With her campaign for governor languishing, according to polls like the new St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 one showing her at 3 percent, Dockery tried to balance her anti-abortion roots with her image as a maverick in a meeting with the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club.

Dockery said she voted against a similar ultrasound requirement in the 2009 legislative session, and voted against adding the language to a larger health care bill in 2010.

But once it was inserted, she voted for the overall bill — which Gov. Charlie Crist has since threatened to veto. The bill passed the Senate 23-16, meaning Dockery’s vote wasn’t crucial to the outcome. “I am pro-life woman,” Dockery said. “But I really hate the idea of government mandating an unnecessary medical procedure.”

Mini Roundup:  A seventeen year-old Nebraskan can finally receive an abortion without notifying her mother, thanks to a ruling from the Nebraska Supreme Court.  The girl, who has lived on her own for 2 years, is emancipated, in college, working two jobs, and already has an infant, had to seek the help of the Supreme Court because a previous judge ruled “the girl was not mature and an abortion without parental notification was not in her best interests.”

May 21, 2010

National Post editorial board: Charest’s deplorable abortion stunt – National Post

Nebraska Girl Doesn’t Have To Tell Mom Her Abortion Plans – WOWT

Church Ousts Nun Who OK’d Abortion to Save Woman – CBS News

The Camera Doesn’t Lie: Ultrasound Changes American Opinion on Abortion –

Quinn signs major change to Illinois adoption law in Chicago – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Dwelling in the Possibilities of a “Win-Win” – First Things

Court OKs 17-year-old’s abortion – Omaha World-Herald

Delaware Pro-Life Advocates Making Push for Choose Life License Plate –

Simple declaration by Cardinal Ouellet sparks wild controversy in Quebec – Catholic Insight

Q&A with Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood – Iowa Independent

Harper to oppose any attempt to create new abortion law –

Anti-abortion pregnancy center sues MoCo – Washington Post

Leaders: Vote could change abortion, marriage laws – Chicago Tribune

Abortion Outrage – WDEF News 12

ACLU: Texas jail violated inmate’s abortion rights – Dallas Morning News

Service not available in Northern Ireland – Slugger O’Toole

Nebraska Supreme Court Rules Young Woman Exempt from Parental Notification … – Ms. Magazine

Protestors speak out in Cedar Rapids against electronic abortion process – Radio Iowa

TX – Abortions in Jail –

Dockery voted for the abortion bill, but says as governor she would veto it –

Most Canadians want Ottawa to stay out of abortion debate: poll – National Post

Amy Jenkins: A ban on an abortion advert won’t make the issue go away – Independent

Nun Excommunicated For Abortion Decision To Save Mother’s Life – Politics Daily

Lies, Half-truths and Contradictions: Whitman’s abortion position – San Francisco Chronicle

ACLU: Texas jail violated inmate’s abortion rights – Houston Chronicle

Bishops Defend Opposition To Health Care Reform, Urge Changes – Huffington Post

The Morning After: Birth Control Sabotage Edition – Washington City Paper

Pregnant troops sent home – Courier Mail

Gov. Christie’s cuts hurt Essex County residents – Caldwell Progress

How We’re Living With HIV – Parade Magazine

“Malawi sentence will set back AIDS” – AfricaNews

Women want forced sterilisation busted – New Era

DC teens want bigger, better condoms – Washington Examiner

Abortion is a moral decision – Washington Post

Pressure for female genital cutting lingers in the US – CNN

Teacher Fired Over Teen Pregnancy Yearbook Page – WLKY Louisville

May 22, 2010

The Real Reason We Do Not Have a Male Pill – Men’s News Daily

Tiffany Jenkins Confronting abortions taboo status is a an absolute must – Scotsman

Leave abortion debate alone, politicians urged – Montreal Gazette

Gov. Brad Henry vetoes abortion reporting measure –

No new abortion law: Harper –

Oklahoma governor vetoes abortion survey bill – Tulsa World

Dispensing abortion pills through tele-conferencing scheduled in a few years – Findtut

Roy Blunt: Strengthen the Hyde Amendment – National Review Online

Governor Vetoes Abortion Bill – KOCO Oklahoma City

Sadness unspoken by the Marie Stopes ads –

Why Harper fears the A-word – Globe and Mail

Oklahoma Governor Vetoes Abortion Bill – Wall Street Journal

As abortion provision nears Crist’s desk, emotions raging – Palm Beach Post

Editorial: A cynical ploy to derail health reform – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Crist and the abortion bill – Hernando Today

Fact & Fiction: Sex After Pregnancy – CBS News

World Backtracks On HIV Treatment –

Synthetic cell may provide HIV vaccine –

Smallpox vaccine could have helped hold HIV at bay – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Women who want epidurals not getting them in B.C.: report – Vancouver Sun

Endometriosis Has Major Effect on Lives of Women – MedPage Today

Former Inmate Shackled While Giving Birth Gets $100000 Settlement – WITN

May 23, 2010

Governor vetoes abortion reporting measure –

Clarifying ultrasounds – Sun-Sentinel

Abortion bill vetoed for flaws, says governor – Tulsa World

Jordanian charged with raping then killing daughter during forced abortion – Herald Sun

The Pill turns 50 – Worcester Telegram

Uganda: Protect, Don’t Punish, People With HIV – Bikya Masr

Female-to-Male HIV Transmission Risk Doubles During Pregnancy – U.S. News & World Report

Rising C-section rate in NJ raises concerns – Cherry Hill Courier Post

Catholic bishops pull out of civil rights group – Spero News

Marie Stopes charity defends its decision to advertise abortion – Times Online

Poll finds Crist, voters in synch on abortion bill, oil drilling –

Abortion in Kenya – New York Times

Anti-abortion groups slate groundbreaking TV ad – Healthcare Republic

Africa and the pill – Scope

A Need for Contraception – New York Times

Opinion: Kristof: Africa’s population bomb still ticking  – San Jose Mercury News

Murphy Brown moment should have been about sex ed – USA Today

Canada not keeping pace with child mortality drop: study – National Post

Do women leaders have to be childless fortysomethings? – The Guardian

Abortion case raises privacy issues – Arizona Republic

UK offers Uganda 45 million condoms to check abortions – Daily Monitor

Schools scramble with teen pregnancy – WOOD-TV

May 24, 2010

Make abortions safe – Ottawa Citizen

Women have a right to information on abortion –

Alaska Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Appeal Of Parental Notification Ballot … – Medical News Today

Exclusive News 13 Florida Decides Poll: The Abortion Bill – Central Florida News 13

Oklahoma Governor Vetoes Abortion Bill – Wall Street Journal

Marie Stopes launches first UK TV ads for abortion services – The Guardian

HIV researchers congregate in the US – The Zimbabwe Standard

Denial of gay rights adds to risk of Aids – The Guardian

Unfair infertility benefit cut produces minimal savings – The News Journal

Teen pregnancy is topic for series of community talks – Statesman Journal

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