Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill that would have effectively outlawed abortion by making it a felony for doctors to perform the procedure. The bill passed the state Senate 33-12 on Thursday and went to the governor’s desk Friday morning.

Fallin, an anti-abortion Republican, vetoed the bill today because she didn’t believe it could withstand an (inevitable) legal challenge, according to the Tulsa World. In a statement, she called the bill “vague:”

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.’

The absence of any definition, analysis or medical standard renders this exception vague, indefinite and vulnerable to subjective interpretation and application.

“While I consistently have and continue to support a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, this legislation cannot accomplish that re-examination. In fact, the most direct path to a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade is the appointment of a conservative, pro-life justice to the United States Supreme Court.

The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Nathan Dahm, said he hoped the bill could help overturn Roe v. Wade, somehow: “Since I believe life begins at conception, it should be protected, and I believe it’s a core function of state government to defend that life from the beginning of conception.”


Bill sponsor Nathan Dahm on the state Senate floor. Photo via AP