Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry did not veto a pro-life bill on Wednesday, making Oklahoma the only state this year to pass legislation that would prohibit certain abortions in state-funded medical facilities, reported CNHI News Service.
Senate Bill 139 prohibits abortions in state medical facilities or by state employees, unless the life of the mother is threatened, the pregnancy poses the risk of impairment to major bodily functions, or in the case of rape or incest.
Henry recently vetoed another bill, Senate Bill 714, which did not allow the provision on rape or incest. Democratic senators sustained the vote during two override attempts. Henry, a Democrat, may not have had the votes this time around to sustain his veto had he made that decision.
Henry said he would challenge proponents of the bill to work with the medical community and other interested parties to address the absence of a concession in the bill for lethal birth defects in the next legislative session.
Joseph Scheidler, national director for the Pro-life Action League, believes using the risk to the mother or the chance of these fatal anomalies as a reason to allow abortions is an emotional ploy.
“Abortion is not a life-saving surgery,” he said, adding that medicine is sophisticated enough now that very few women die because of a pregnancy.