Oklahoma Legislature overrides third abortion veto

By Julie Bisbee Modified: May 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm •  Published: May 25, 2010

Lawmakers have bypassed the governor's veto of a bill that asks women to fill out a detailed questionnaire when seeking an abortion.

In a vote of 33-15, the Senate voted to override Gov. Brad Henry's veto of House Bill 3284. A similar veto override measure passed the House on Monday in a vote 84-13. The measure goes into effect Nov. 1.

Henry, a Democrat, vetoed the bill Saturday, saying it was an unconstitutional invasion of privacy and barrier to legal medical treatment.

A spokesman for Henry called the veto override "disappointing."

"Every veto override just triggers more lawsuits and legal bills for taxpayers. Similar abortion laws passed by the Legislature were challenged and thrown out by the courts last year, and the latest versions are probably headed for the same fate," spokesman Paul Sund said.

As the bill was heard in the Senate, nearly 50 people wearing pink filled one side of the Senate gallery in support of the governor's veto. At times, the audience waved their hands to silently cheer on a legislator. Some shook their heads as the final vote was posted.

Senators debated the bill for more than an hour. Opponents of the bill said the measure was intrusive, insulting to women and did nothing to limit the number of abortions in the state.

Supporters of the measure said it collects data in hopes of understanding why women in Oklahoma seek to end their pregnancies.

Sen. Jim Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, was the lone Republican voting against the veto override. Reynolds said while he has supported restrictions on abortion in the past, this measure seeks to supply very personal information to the government, which he does not support.


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