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Sunday, February 28, 2021

THE POLITICAL FRONT: OKLAHOMA’S VETOED ABORTION RULING

Oklahoma gained attention recently after the state’s House and Senate passed legislation making the performance of abortions a felony for doctors in cases that aren’t necessary to save the mother’s life.

In response, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed the bill on Friday, May, 19. Fallin said that the bill was too vague and wouldn’t be able to withstand a legal challenge, according to The Washington Post. The Bill passed in the state’s House 59-9 and in the state’s Senate 33-12.

The vetoed legislation, officially titled SB1552, specifically states that “performance of an abortion as defined by Section 1-730 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, except that an abortion necessary to preserve the life of the mother, shall not be grounds for denial or revocation of a medical license. No such condition may be determined to exist if it is based on a claim or diagnosis that the woman may engage in conduct which she intends to result in her death.”

So, what is considered necessary to preserve the mother’s life? Is it absolute death or the possibility of complications during pregnancy?

This is the vagueness that Fallin was talking about.

Senior Becca Riley, an environmental studies major, also finds the wording of the bill is unclear.

“It would take me a couple times to [understand the bill],” Riley said. “It seems like ‘risk of life’ is very broad. There are a lot of things that could pose a risk to someone’s life.”

While there clearly is some mention of the woman’s life or health, the Center for Reproductive Rights issued a statement on the decision.

“Oklahoma politicians have made it their mission year after year to restrict women’s access to vital health care services, yet this total ban on abortion is a new low.  When abortion is illegal, women and their health, futures and families suffer,” Amanda Allen, senior state legislative counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights said in the statement.

While Allen’s quote is valid, is the center trying to push their own agenda?

“Everybody has their own agenda,” Riley said. “At the same time, I don’t want this bill signed into law.”

Though some may see this bill as an issue, not all disagree with it. Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm, the bill’s sponsor, said he hopes the bill leads to overturning Roe v. Wade, according to The Associated Press.

“Since I believe life begins at conception, it should be protected, and I believe it’s a core function of state government to defend that life from the beginning of conception,” Dahm said.

To see how the rest of the world views abortion, check out this map. To let others know what you think of this topic, leave your thoughts in the comments down below.

Vanessa Thomas, The Political Front reporter // Photo courtesy of Vanessa Thomas
Vanessa Thomas, The Political Front reporter // Photo courtesy of Vanessa Thomas

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