OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma, MAY 25, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Oklahoma has passed a bill prohibiting public funds to be used for most abortions.
Passed by the state House and Senate, the bill, SB 139, became law as of midnight Wednesday when the deadline expired for Governor Brad Henry to veto it, Reuters reported.
The new law, to take effect Nov. 1, allows for exceptions in cases of rape and incest and to save the mother’s life.
The bill passed easily in the Republican-controlled House and got through the evenly divided state Senate with several votes from Democratic lawmakers.
Tony Lauinger, chairman of Oklahomans for Life, said in a statement on their Web site: “Governor Henry had been urged by Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion entities to veto the bill.
“He did veto an earlier, similar bill, but may have been dissuaded from vetoing SB 139 by the fact that 75% of the members of the legislature voted for the bill.”
Senator James Williamson, author of the bill, told the Oklahoman newspaper: “I’m pleased that the battle is over.”
“I’m obviously surprised that [the governor] didn’t take a stand one way or another on the bill,” said Williamson. “The outcome is the same for those who want to protect the unborn, and so I’m pleased with the outcome.”
Lauinger, speaking with the Oklahoman, said he is grateful to Williamson and other legislators who worked to pass SB 139, adding: “It will protect the lives of unborn children who would otherwise be more likely to have been aborted.”