Thursday, April 12, 2007
Sen. Wilson Urges Governor to Veto Abortion Bill
Calling Senate Bill 714 “outrageous,” Sen. Jim Wilson has urged Gov. Brad Henry to veto the measure. The bill was given final approval in the Senate on Wednesday and is now headed to the governor for his consideration. Wilson said the legislation would forbid the use of state funds, facilities or employees to terminate pregnancies and impose further restrictions as well. (Wilson is pictured at left with Sen. Andrew Rice and Sen. Debbe Leftwich and medical professionals gathered at the State Capitol today.)
“This bill is not pro-life in that it does not make the procedures illegal. It does mean that middle class and poor women would be denied medical procedures and sometimes even advice that would still be accessible to upper-class Oklahomans,” said Wilson, D-Tahlequah. “It also makes no exceptions for rape or incest, and it is so egregious that an ER won’t be able to give rape or incest victims emergency contraception to keep them from becoming pregnant as a result of the assault.”
Wilson appeared at a State Capitol press conference on Thursday along with fellow senators and representatives of the Oklahoma Nurses Association, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Oklahoma State Medical Association and the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association to explain the negative impact SB 714 could have on the health and welfare of Oklahoma women. Both the doctors and Wilson stated that the bill was too intrusive and restrictive to effectively protect all life.
“The horrifying truth is this bill could result in the premature deaths of mothers and babies after delivery. It does not make exceptions for fatal fetal defects, the health of the mother or life expectancy of the mother after being forced to go through delivery,” Wilson said. “It prohibits a pregnant woman with cancer from deciding with her own doctor to receive life saving treatment if such treatment would require termination of pregnancy.”
Wilson said he’d sent the governor a letter outlining his concerns and calling for him to veto SB 714. “While most Oklahomans are opposed to abortion, most believe that not all medical procedures resulting in termination of pregnancy should be prohibited because of a person’s financial situation,” Wilson said. “The lives of Oklahoma wives, sisters, mothers and daughters are too important to play politics with them.”