Oklahoma Gov Vetoes Bill to Make State Fourth to Stop Abortion in Health Care

by Steven Ertelt

LifeNews.com Editor

May 27, 2010

Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry issued his fourth veto of a pro-life bill in recent weeks — this time vetoing a measure that would have the state become the fourth to opt out of at least some of the abortion funding under the health care law President Barack Obama signed.

Henry vetoed House Bill 3290 that would ban insurance companies from covering elective abortions.

Henry issued his veto late Wednesday night and said his primary reason for vetoing the measure was because rape and incest victims may not be able to get taxpayer funds to pay for their abortion — even though the bill has an exemption for rape and incest to conform with federal law.

“By requiring these victims and other women to prospectively purchase separate and special abortion insurance before a pregnancy occurs, House Bill 3290 unfairly and punitively limits the health options of these individuals,” Henry said.

The legislature has already voted to override Henry on each of the other pro-life bills he vetoed and pro-life advocates are already asking state lawmakers to do so again.

They have until the end of the day on Friday to override Governor Henry, as that is the deadline for the state legislature to adjourn.

Tony Lauinger, Oklahomans for Life chairman, told LifeNews.com that the bill “prohibits health-insurance plans in Oklahoma established under the new federal health-care law from including coverage for elective abortions.”

“If allowed to stand, the Governor’s veto will force pro-life Oklahomans to pay for other people’s abortions,” he complained.

He urged pro-life advocates to contact legislators to encourage them to hold an override vote and to support it.

“Health insurance policies are identical to tax dollars in the sense that people pool their funds and the pooled funds are used to pay for medical services,” Lauinger added. “Pro-life people do not regard abortion as a medical service. Abortion is not health care. And pro-life people do not want to be complicit in the intentional taking of an innocent life.”

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour made his the third state to enact a law that would allow it to opt out of some of the federal abortion funding in the health care bill.

The state follows Arizona and Tennessee in having such a law on the books.

Under the new health care law, states will be in charge of their own health care exchanges that are available for individuals and small businesses. The new law will keep any insurance plans on the state exchanges from offering abortion coverage.

The exchange doesn’t go into effect until 2014 and states are filing lawsuits seeking to stop the pro-abortion health care bill in its other pro-abortion provisions entirety, but states are moving now to exercise their right to opt out of some of the abortion funding.