Oklahoma governor vetoes controversial abortion bill

On Friday, Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a bill that would have made performing an abortion a felony because the bill "was vague and would not withstand a criminal constitutional legal challenge."

Note: This story was updated 5 p.m. central on May 20 to reflect new information.

Oklahoma legislators passed the bill Thursday. Not only would physicians have faced jail time for performing an abortion, they would also have had their medical licenses revoked unless the abortion was necessary to save a mother's life, according to The Washington Post.

"The bill is so ambiguous and so vague that doctors cannot be certain what medical circumstances would be considered 'necessary to preserve the life of the mother,'" Gov. Fallin said.

This is the first-ever bill of its kind, the Center for Reproductive Rights told the Post, as most other states are simply banning the procedure without attaching penalties.

The Oklahoma State Medical Association called the bill "troubling." The OSMA said it is against "legislation that is designed to intimidate physicians or override their medical judgment." Sherri Baker, MD, the association's president, said, "It is simply unconscionable that, at a time when our state already faces a severe physician shortage, the senate would waste its time on a bill that is patently unconstitutional and whose only purposes are to score political points and intimidate physicians across this state," according to the Post.

More articles on physician issues:
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Kansas, Mississippi enact law for interstate physician licensure

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