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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

Sen. Jim Wilson
Sen. Jim Wilson

Democratic Senators Respond To Sen. Williamson on Senate Bill 714

A trio of Democratic Senators Tuesday blasted Sen. James Williamson, R-Tulsa, over his latest effort to override Gov. Brad Henry’s veto of Senate Bill 714.

Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, said Williamson and his supporters have continuously berated the 17 Democratic Senators that voted to sustain the veto. “The constant attacks, from repeated override attempts to intimidation to death threats, in the case of SB 714 is clearly meant to wear down its opponents,” Wilson said. “I view this as a serious breach of some of the most hallowed principles that guide health care professionals, especially compassion and the integrity of the health care provider-patient relationship.”

Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D- Oklahoma City, who has supported pro-life bills in the past, said she couldn’t support Williamson’s bill, in part, because it didn’t include exceptions for rape or incest.

She added that Sen. Williamson’s bill is also misleading. “While SB714 has been held out to its supporters and to the public as a bill that will restrict abortions at state facilities and prevent state funds from being spent on abortions,” Leftwich said.

Leftwich said it goes much further than that. “This bill states that 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, from any source, public or private,” she said. “ This would affect every hospital in the state.”

Wilson said there is nothing in this bill to limit abortions for pregnancies of inconvenience. “ Even Senator Williamson himself has indicated that anyone can go to a private abortion clinic, pay $300, and terminate a pregnancy,” Wilson said. “Such clinics do not generally provide therapeutic abortions where there are complicated medical problems involving issues such as cancer or kidney failure in the mother, or a lethal birth defect in the fetus. These clinics generally provide abortion on demand for pregnancies of inconvenience.”

Sen. Andrew Rice, D-Oklahoma City, said SB 714 hurts not only Oklahoma women, but its medical profession as well. “Women in Oklahoma deserve the finest medical and ethical treatment when they face complicated pregnancies,” Rice said. “ The OU Medical Center has amazing physicians, specialists, and support staff. Legislative involvement in the Medical Center should exist only to provide resources for health professionals to deliver great care to Oklahomans--not to place restrictions on that care.”

For more information contact:
Senator Wilson's Office:  (405) 521-5574

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