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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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For Immediate Release: May 8, 2007

Senator Williamson urges  the legislature to overturn Gov. Henry's veto of SB 714.
Sen. Williamson urges the legislature to overturn Gov. Henry’s veto of SB 714. (L-R) Sen. Ron Justice, Sen. Williamson, OU Health Center Obstetrics nurse Sherri Crittenden, Sen. Justice’s niece Summer Horn and her daughter Tristyn, and Bishop Edward J. Slattery of the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa.

Religious Leaders Voice Support of Veto Override of SB 714

The leaders of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa joined State Sen. James A. Williamson on Tuesday in support of a measure to restrict the performance of abortions at state facilities or by state employees.

Senate Bill 714 was vetoed by Gov. Brad Henry last month. Williamson has vowed to continue bringing up the legislation until he is successful in an override of the veto. Williamson said he intends to move to override when the Senate meets on Wednesday.

“Every single day, I hear from more and more Oklahomans who support our efforts,” Williamson said. “The fact remains that most of our citizens oppose abortion and do not want their tax dollars used for this procedure.”

Joining Williamson at a State Capitol press conference was Dr. Anthony L. Jordan, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

“The evidence is clear. Abortion destroys human life. While pro-abortion doctors and others have confused facts, it does not change the truth that the majority of Oklahomans are opposed to abortion,” Jordan said. “Taxpayers should not be required to pay for abortions with tax dollars.”

Bishop Edward J. Slattery of the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa also called for an override.

“I will do anything I can to promote the right of the unborn child to life regardless of the economic status of the mother. We all have a right to life, even if we are weak and still in the womb,” Slattery said.

Williamson was also joined by Summer Horn, a Fort Cobb mother who was advised by an OU specialist to abort her unborn child because initial tests had indicated the child could have several birth defects. As it turned out, the only medical problem the child had was omphalocele, a rare condition where an internal organ protrudes into the umbilical cord, which can be corrected through surgery.

“I prayed about it and decided against having an abortion, but the frightening part is, based on their advice, I considered it,” Horn said. “That would have been incredibly tragic, because while my daughter did require surgery, the procedure was successful. She is perfect.”

Williamson said Horn’s story is very similar to those he’s heard from other Oklahoma women.

“I’ve heard from so many parents who’ve told me about being pressured to abort children, and in some of those cases, the tests were wrong. If they’d listened they would have aborted perfectly healthy babies,” Williamson said. “Even babies who may not be perfect have value and are loved by their parents. The state should not be in the business of taking those lives.”

For more information contact:
Senator Williamson's Office:  (405) 521-5624

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