This week the Oklahoma House of Representatives took action to again send to the Senate and the Governor an important pro-life measure. Senate Bill 139 (SB 139), authored by Oklahoma City Democrat Rebecca Hamilton, would stop the use of taxpayer money from funding almost all abortions. SB 139 is very similar to Senate Bill 714, which passed both the House and the Senate earlier in the session but was later vetoed by the Governor.
The Senate has twice attempted to override the Governor's veto of Senate Bill 714, but both attempts fell just one vote short of the two-thirds majority needed. Because the Senate could not override the veto, the bill was bottled up in the Senate and the House did not get to vote on the override attempt.
SB 139 offered an opportunity for those of us in the House to again press the issue that taxpayer resources should not be used for abortions. It is important for us to take action, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because of the groundswell of public support for this policy. I have received more calls in support of Senate Bill 714 than any other bill this year. It is clear that people do not want their tax dollars used to destroy life and they are demanding the government take action.
In order to entice the Governor to sign this measure, authors of the bill have used almost identical language as that in Senate Bill 714, with slight changes in wording. This new language may be instrumental in chipping away support from Senators who until now have been willing to back the Governor's veto.
In order for SB 139 to pass the House, it faced the difficult hurdle of two procedural votes requiring approval from two-thirds of the members of the House. Tony Lauinger, State Chairman of Oklahomans For Life, stated that these were the most important pro-life votes of the year. Each vote passed by a margin of one vote and I was pleased to cast my vote to help insure passage.
During the upcoming two weeks, your continued support of ending the policy of taxpayer funded abortions will be vital to the success of SB 139. Thank you for calling my office with your concerns. Please continue to contact the Governor and your Senator as well.
As always I may be contacted on the web at www.housedistrict31.com or on the phone at 557-7350.