SB 714 Author Disappointed by Senator Laster’s Flip-Flop on Abortion Issue
On Wednesday the evenly divided Oklahoma Senate fell one vote short of the 32 votes needed to override Gov. Brad Henry’s veto of a pro-life bill after Democrat Senator Charles Laster of Shawnee flip-flopped by voting against an override motion after voting 3 previous times in favor of the legislation this session – once in committee and twice on the Senate floor.
But Senate Bill 714’s author, Sen. James A. Williamson of Tulsa, said he will press on with future attempts to override Henry’s veto.
“Today’s vote is just the beginning. Our fight on behalf of unborn Oklahomans will continue for as along as necessary until we override this veto,” Williamson said.
“Sen. Laster’s flip flop on this life-and-death issue is surprising and disappointing. Sen. Laster will likely be hearing from many pro-life Oklahomans in the coming days. There will be a lot of prayers that he will have a change of heart on the next override vote,” stated Williamson.
“Sen. Laster’s explanation for changing his vote on SB 714 involves the same arguments that were used against this bill during every previous vote, yet Sen. Laster still voted for the bill every time until today,” he said.
Senate Bill 714 is a pro-life bill that prohibits the use of state funds, facilities, and employees to perform abortions. It also requires abortionists to file paperwork with the state showing they are following laws requiring informed consent of patients and the notification of minors’ parents before abortions are performed.
Williamson noted that Democrat Sen. Nancy Riley of Sand Springs, who switched parties in 2006, has also changed positions on the abortion issue.
“In the past, Sen. Riley consistently voted pro-life as a Republican. She never told pro-life supporters that rape and incest exceptions were important to her. As a Democrat, she even voted for SB 714 in committee before opposing the bill on the floor,” Williamson said. “Sen. Riley’s waffling on the issue of life is extremely disappointing.”
Williamson said he will continue to bring up his motion to override Henry’s veto of SB 714 “as many times as necessary” until the end of next year’s legislative session.