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Oklahoma Gov. Fallin vetoes bill criminalizing doctors who perform abortions

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has vetoed legislation that would make it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion, a measure that would have effectively outlawed the procedure in the state.

The Republican governor issued her veto Friday. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm, said the measure was aimed at ultimately overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

“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 in a news release.

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

The bill would have made it a felony punishable by up to three years in prison for anyone who performs an abortion, including doctors. State law already makes it a felony for anyone who’s not a doctor to perform an abortion. Dahm’s bill would have removed the exemption for physicians.

Lawmakers can still attempt a veto override, which requires a two-thirds majority in each chamber.