EDITOR’S NOTE— Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday vetoed legislation that would make it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion, a measure that would have effectively outlawed the procedure in the state.
OKLAHOMA CITY -The Oklahoma Legislature on Thursday passed a bill that would make performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.
The Center for Reproductive Rights says the measure is the first of its kind in the nation. The bill also would restrict any physician who performs an abortion from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in Oklahoma.
“As we put the finishing touches on a new clinic in Oklahoma City that will give women full access to their legal reproductive rights, Trust Women is dismayed by the passage of Oklahoma SB 1552, a blatantly unconstitutional attempt to make abortion illegal,” the organization wrote in a media release.
“Trust Women stands firm on our decision to open a clinic in the largest metropolitan area in the United States without a provider,” said Julie Burkhart, founder and CEO of Trust Women, the foundation that owns Trust Women South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita and Oklahoma City. “Women need the services we will offer.”
“Oklahoma legislators should be spending their time finding solutions to problems, not creating barriers for women, said Burkhart.
“It is crucial that women make their own reproductive health care decisions. Women know what is best for them — not politicians. That seems so simple, yet we must constantly remind lawmakers,” Burkhart said.
Trust Women remains committed to supporting women in Oklahoma and calls for Gov. Mary Fallin to veto this bill. Oklahoma taxpayers should not have to foot the bill to defend a law that will be ruled unconstitutional.
With no discussion or debate, the Oklahoma Senate voted 33-12 for the bill by Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm.
A handful of Republicans joined with Democrats in voting against the bill, which now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin. A spokesman says Fallin will withhold comment until her staff has time to review it.
The Trust Women Foundation is based in Wichita.
– The Associated Press Contributed to this report