A bill that will outlaw abortions using any state funding became law on midnight Wednesday, Governor Brad Henry announced.
The bill states:
"It shall be unlawful for any funds received or controlled by this state or any agency or political subdivision thereof, including, but not limited to, funds derived from federal, state or local taxes, gifts or grants, federal grants or payments, or intergovernmental transfers, to be used to encourage a woman to have an abortion not necessary to save her life, except to the extent required for continued participation in a federal program."
Henry said he would not veto Senate Bill 139 , which was set to become law by midnight.
Abortions performed in a hospital or facility that receives state funds would only be allowed for females who are the victims of rape or incest " after reporting it to an officer.
"This bill addresses several of the issues that led me to veto an earlier measure, Senate Bill 714. Unlike its predecessor, Senate Bill 139 provides exemptions for cases of rape and incest, and it includes language that allows for a physician to discuss options with his or her patient," Henry said in a statement. "While SB 139 does make these improvements, it has not fixed all of the problems in SB 714. Specifically, it still fails to provide exemptions for instances in which a lethal birth defect means there is no possibility of a fetus' survival. A woman should not be forced to carry a fetus to full term when there is no possibility that the fetus can survive outside the womb.
"Although I will allow SB 139 to become law without my signature, I would also challenge its proponents to work with the medical community and other interested parties to address the lethal birth defect issue in the next legislative session." - Ben Fenwick