Oklahoma Governor vetoes pro-life bill that would have made abortion a felony

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill that would make abortion a felony in most circumstances. The bill was just passed by the legislature yesterday and Fallin had until next week to act on it but chose not to wait. Fallin’s office published a press release Friday afternoon defending her pro-life bona fides and explaining the reasoning for her decision:

Fallin is the most pro-life governor in the nation. She has signed 18 bills supporting pro-life values and protecting the health and lives of mothers and their unborn children.

Senate Bill 1552 would have made it a felony for physicians to perform abortions. It also contained a provision to revoke their medical licenses unless the abortion was necessary to save the life of the mother.

“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.

“The absence of any definition, analysis or medical standard renders this exception vague, indefinite and vulnerable to subjective interpretation and application,” she wrote in her veto message.

“While I consistently have and continue to support a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, this legislation cannot accomplish that re-examination,” Fallin wrote. “In fact, the most direct path to a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade is the appointment of a conservative, pro-life justice to the United States Supreme Court.”

As Ed pointed out yesterday, this bill seems like a doomed effort. The Supreme Court had not displayed any interest in overturning Roe v. Wade before the death of Justice Scalia. After his death it seems even more unlikely the Court would take up the issue, especially if Scalia’s replacement is less conservative than he is.

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John Sexton 10:40 PM on May 30, 2023