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Gov. Fallin vetoes bill that would make performing an abortion a felony

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Mary Fallin

OKLAHOMA CITY – One day after lawmakers passed a bill that would make performing an abortion a felony, Gov. Mary Fallin decided to veto the measure.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma Legislature has passed a bill that would make performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

The bill would restrict any physician who performs an abortion from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in Oklahoma.

On Friday, Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed the measure, saying the bill was “vague” and “would not withstand a criminal constitutional legal challenge.”

“The bill is so ambiguous and so vague that doctors cannot be certain what medical circumstances would be considered ‘necessary to preserve the life of the mother,” Fallin said. “The absence of any definition, analysis or medical standard renders this exception vague, indefinite and vulnerable to subjective interpretation and application.”

“While I consistently have and continue to support a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, this legislation cannot accomplish that re-examination,” Fallin wrote. “In fact, the most direct path to a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade is the appointment of a conservative, pro-life justice to the United States Supreme Court.”

Pro-choice groups have said the bill is unconstitutional, but the author of the bill, Sen. Nathan Dahm, said he hoped it would challenge Roe v. Wade.