The Associated Press reports that Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry has vetoed two bills concerning abortion and mentioned privacy as one concern in his rejection of the legislation. Lawmakers are hoping to override his veto with a vote in the House and Senate.
Oklahoma has been in the news recently over its abortion laws. In February, an Oklahoma County District Court judge ruled as unconstitutional the Statistical Reporting of Abortions Act, a controversial new abortion law (pdf) that would have required the online posting of personal details of women who had undergone the procedure, a violation of the women’s privacy rights.
The Associated Press reports:
Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry vetoed two abortion bills that he said are an unconstitutional attempt by the Legislature to insert government into the private lives and decisions of citizens.
One measure would have required women to undergo an intrusive ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting abortions. Henry said Friday that legislation is flawed because it does not allow rape and incest victims to be exempted. […]
“State policymakers should never mandate that a citizen be forced to undergo any medical procedure against his or her will, especially when such a procedure could cause physical or mental trauma. To do so amounts to an unconstitutional invasion of privacy,” he said.
Under the ultrasound legislation, doctors would have been required to use a vaginal probe in cases where it would provide a clearer picture of the fetus than a regular ultrasound. Doctors have said this is usually the case early in pregnancies, when most abortions are done. […]
The second abortion bill that the governor vetoed Friday was one that would have prohibited pregnant women from seeking damages if physicians withhold important information or provide inaccurate information about their pregnancy. Supporters of that measure said it was an attempt to keep pregnant women from discriminating against fetuses with disabilities.
But Henry said the bill would allow unscrupulous or negligent physicians to withhold or provide inaccurate information without facing the potential of legal consequences.