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.
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.
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 TampaBay.com:
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
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
Simple declaration by Cardinal Ouellet sparks wild controversy in Quebec – Catholic Insight
Q&A with Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood – Iowa Independent
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
TX – Abortions in Jail – NewsWest9.com
Most Canadians want Ottawa to stay out of abortion debate: poll – National Post
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
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
Leave abortion debate alone, politicians urged – Montreal Gazette
Gov. Brad Henry vetoes abortion reporting measure – NewsOK.com
No new abortion law: Harper – CBC.ca
Oklahoma governor vetoes abortion survey bill – Tulsa World
Roy Blunt: Strengthen the Hyde Amendment – National Review Online
Governor Vetoes Abortion Bill – KOCO Oklahoma City
Sadness unspoken by the Marie Stopes ads – Telegraph.co.uk
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 – AllAfrica.com
Synthetic cell may provide HIV vaccine – Examiner.com
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
May 23, 2010
Governor vetoes abortion reporting measure – NewsOK.com
Clarifying ultrasounds – Sun-Sentinel
Abortion bill vetoed for flaws, says governor – Tulsa World
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
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
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 – Telegraph.co.uk
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