Gov. Henry vetoes abortion reporting measure
Share this Article: Twitter Facebook Republish Print
YouTube Video

Published: 22-May-2010

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 20-May-2010

Gov. Brad Henry on Saturday (May 22) vetoed House Bill 3284, anti-abortion legislation to require reporting of reasons for the procedure. He noted the measure had previously been declared unconstitutional. Henry said the measure had numerous flaws. Among other concerns, he pointed to lack of exemptions for victims of rape and incest as a motivation for his veto.

H.B. 3284 would have required questionnaires about reasons for accessing abortion. In his veto message, Henry reiterated support for reasonable restrictions on abortion, but said the bill was flawed.  Pro-life advocates, including Tony Lauinger of Oklahomans for Life, had hoped to gain Henry's support, because he previously signed legislation with similar provisions.

“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. Victims of such horrific acts should be treated with dignity and respect in such situations, as should all people,” said Gov. Henry.

Advocates of abortion rights have indicated another legal challenge may be forthcoming if H.B. 3284 becomes law. Although the court struck down the earlier law because it contained multiple subjects, the governor said he believed the latest version of the proposal was 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,” he said.

The text of Governor Henry's veto message follows:

HB 3284 Veto Message:

“This is to advise you that on this date, pursuant to the authority vested in me by Section 11 and 12 of Article VI of the Oklahoma Constitution to approve or object to legislation presented to me, I have VETOED House Bill 3284. While I support reasonable restrictions on abortion, this legislation has numerous flaws. As with previous abortion bills I have vetoed, HB 3284 lacks an essential exemption for rape and incest victims. By forcing them 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. Victims of such horrific acts should be treated with dignity and respect in such situations, as should all people. 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. If it were to become law, HB 3284 would be challenged in court and result in an expensive and potentially futile legal battle for the state. Because of these many flaws, this legislation is not in the best interest of the state of Oklahoma.”

NOTE: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.

sign up for email updates

Steal Our Stuff