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Oklahoma Legislature Overrides Henry Vetoes

Apr 27, 2010 | 2010 Press Releases

Ultrasound and Wrongful Birth/Wrongful Life bills become law

WASHINGTON – Today, the Oklahoma state legislature overrode Governor Brad Henry’s veto of two bills that will protect mothers and their unborn children.  By separate 36-12 votes, both the Ultrasound bill (HB2780) and the Wrongful Birth/Wrongful Life bill (HB2656) cleared the Oklahoma Senate.  Both bills cleared the override hurdle in the Oklahoma House of Representatives yesterday.

“This is a victory for the women of Oklahoma and their unborn children,” said National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D. “Abortion is a business: the less time spent with a woman, the less information given to her, the more sales made. This ultrasound law protects a mother’s right to know something about her developing unborn child.” 

The ultrasound bill requires that before an abortion can be performed, an ultrasound must be performed and displayed so that the woman may view the image of her unborn child.  The Oklahoma ultrasound law is the strongest, most protective law of its kind.  Nineteen other states have enacted similar legislation that provides women the opportunity to view an ultrasound of their unborn children before an abortion.

“Ultrasound gives a mother a window to her womb. It helps to prevent her from making a decision she may regret for the rest of her life and it empowers her with the most accurate information about her pregnancy so that she can make a truly informed ‘choice’,” Balch added.

In passing Oklahoma’s wrongful birth/wrongful life bill, the legislature recognized that “the birth of a child does not constitute a legally recognizable injury,” and that legal action related to the birth of a child may not be brought “based on a claim that a person’s act or omission contributed to the mother’s not having obtained an abortion.”

The text of the ultrasound bill is available here: http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2009-10bills/HB/hb2780_engr.rtf;  the text of the wrongful birth/wrongful life bill is available here:http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2009-10bills/HB/hb2656_engr.rtf 

The National Right to Life Committee is the nation’s largest pro-life group with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide