Oklahoma Governor Vetoes 2 Strict Abortion Bills

Calls forced ultrasound test unconstitutional
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 24, 2010 8:23 AM CDT
From right, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry, center, and his wife, Kim Henry bow their heads during the memorial ceremony for the 15th anniversary...   (AP Photo/John Clanton, Pool)
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(Newser) – Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry vetoed two abortion bills that he said are an unconstitutional attempt to insert government into the private lives and decisions of citizens. One measure would have required women to undergo an intrusive ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting an abortion. Henry said yesterday that legislation is flawed because it does not allow rape and incest victims to be exempted.

"It would be unconscionable to subject rape and incest victims to such treatment," the governor said, because it would victimize a victim a second time. "State policymakers should never mandate that a citizen be forced to undergo any medical procedure against his or her will, especially when such a procedure could cause physical or mental trauma. To do so amounts to an unconstitutional invasion of privacy." The second abortion bill the governor vetoed would have prohibited pregnant women from seeking damages if physicians withhold important information or provide inaccurate information about their pregnancy. Supporters of that measure said it was an attempt to keep pregnant women from discriminating against fetuses with disabilities.

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