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Oklahoma State Senate
Co-President Pro Tempore
Senator Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 418
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
(405) 521-5636

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For Immediate Release: March 13, 2007

Senator Glenn Coffee
Senator Glenn Coffee

Historic Day: Senate Passes Pro-Life Bill

State Capitol, Oklahoma City – The evenly divided Oklahoma Senate made history Tuesday by passing a pro-life bill that prohibits state funds, facilities, and employees from being used to perform abortions.

Senate Bill 714 is authored by Sen. James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa. The bill passed on a bipartisan 34 to 13 vote Tuesday, with 10 Democrats joining Republican senators to pass the legislation.

“It is the first time in anyone’s memory that pro-life legislation has made it through the Senate’s committee process and onto the Senate floor. In the past we had to use guerilla tactics to get the Senate to vote on legislation that protects the unborn, but passage of this bill is evidence that a new day has dawned in the Legislature’s upper chamber,” said Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.

Williamson said his bill ensures that pro-life taxpayers aren’t forced to subsidize abortions.

“Taxpayers who value life and who value the rights of the unborn should not have their tax dollars used to pay for abortions,” Williamson said. “Sadly, this common sense legislation would have been dead in the water in a Senate committee a year ago, but thankfully it received fair consideration this year because Republicans now have an equal say in what bills get heard in the Senate.”

In past years, similar bills were bottled up by liberal committee chairmen. But this year Republicans used their new authority in the Senate to schedule a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee, where the legislation was passed and went to the floor for consideration by the full Senate.

The Senate’s power-sharing agreement requires the Democrat and Republican co-chairs of each committee to agree on which bills receive a hearing. However, each co-chair has the right to use a so-called “silver bullet” to schedule committee hearings for up to three bills without the consent of the other co-chair. The Republican co-chair of the Appropriations Committee, Sen. Mike Johnson, R-Kingfisher, used one of his “silver bullets” to force SB 714 onto the committee’s agenda on February 21, where it received a “Do Pass” recommendation and was forwarded to the full Senate.

For more information contact:
Senator Coffee's Office - (405) 521-5654

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