For Immediate Release: March 13, 2007
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