Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry Vetoes yet Another Harmful Anti-Abortion Bill
(PRESS RELEASE) This morning, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry vetoed yet another harmful anti-abortion bill passed by the state legislature. The bill represents an extreme and unconstitutional invasion of patient privacy, requiring doctors to essentially interrogate a woman about her reasons for having an abortion.
Under the law, doctors would be forced to inquire about the most private aspects of a woman’s life, touching on about 90 different factors including her race and ethnicity, and whether financial or relationship problems are the reason she is planning to have an abortion. That information would then be published on a public website.
In a press statement, Governor Henry said that these burdensome reporting requirements imposed on patients and abortion providers constitute “an unconstitutional invasion of privacy and barrier to legal medical treatment.” The Center previously sent Governor Brad Henry a letter outlining the constitutional issues with this new reporting measure and asking him to veto it as a result. Read the letter here >,
Just this past February, an Oklahoma state court found an omnibus anti-abortion bill that included these same reporting requirements to be unconstitutional in a challenge brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights on grounds that it violated the state’s single subject rule.
“We are very pleased that Governor Henry has vetoed this incredibly onerous and intrusive anti-abortion measure,” said Jennifer Mondino, a staff attorney at the Center and the lead attorney on the previous lawsuit. “The government has no business running a grand inquisition into the private lives of Oklahoma women, and we strongly urge the legislature to let the Governor’s veto stand.”
In April, Governor Henry vetoed two other anti-choice bills, an ultrasound measure requiring a woman seeking an abortion to hear in detail a description of the ultrasound image and a measure prohibiting a woman from suing doctors who withhold information from her or even lie to her about a fetal abnormality. The Oklahoma legislature, however, voted to override those vetoes, and on April 27 the Center filed a lawsuit against the ultrasound measure.