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Oklahoma State Senate
Senator James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa
State Capitol Room 412
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
(405) 521-5624

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For Immediate Release: March 10, 2008

Sen. James A. Williamson
Sen. James A. Williamson

So-Called Insurance ‘Reform’ Bill Would Force Coverage of Abortions

A Democrat-authored insurance mandate bill would force insurance companies to pay for abortions, gutting a key reform that was adopted as part of a landmark 2007 pro-life law.

Sen. James A. Williamson, who authored the 2007 law, called on pro-life legislators in both parties to oppose a motion to reconsider Senate Bill 2114, which failed last week to garner the 25 votes needed for passage. Democrat leaders in the Senate have said they plan to bring the bill up for reconsideration this week.

“At the time SB 2114 was first presented last week I noted the incredible potential for it to increase insurance premiums. However, the more I thought about the potential consequences of this legislation, I realized the bill also guts last year’s reform that protects pro-life health insurance policyholders from being forced to subsidize abortions through their insurance premiums,” stated Williamson, R-Tulsa.

“I strongly encourage all pro-life legislators – Democrats and Republicans – to oppose the reconsideration of this misguided legislation,” he said.

The state’s leading pro-life organization – Tulsa-based Oklahomans for Life – fully analyzed the bill and agrees with Williamson’s interpretation of the bill’s effect. Oklahomans for Life has announced its opposition Senate Bill 2114, Williamson noted.

In 2007 the Legislature overwhelmingly adopted Senate Bill 139 by Williamson, which became law without Gov. Brad Henry’s signature. A key provision of the bill required a separate, optional rider for abortion coverage in health insurance policies, ensuring that pro-life policyholders are not forced to subsidize abortions through higher premiums.

Senate Bill 2114, authored by Democrat Sen. Jim Wilson of Tahlequah, guts the 2007 pro-life reform. SB 2114 would require insurance companies to pay for any medical procedure recommended as “medically necessary” by any “health care professional.”

“Under SB 2114’s vague provisions, a ‘health care professional’ like a nurse or a psychologist could claim an abortion is ‘medically necessary’ and an insurance company would be forced to cover it. This is unconscionable,” Williamson said.

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

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