April 6 2005, 5:57 AM
Is anyone surprised that Gov. Bill Owens has vetoed the emergency contraception bill?
Owens, a Roman Catholic who has campaigned on conservative values, said the bill would have forced church-owned hospitals and other institutions to compromise their moral and religious beliefs. "This bill would violate fundamental constitutional principles by forcing an institution to say things to patients that it explicitly does not believe to be morally or ethically valid," Owens said in his veto message to lawmakers. "Allowing such a provision to become law would cross a constitutional line that we must not cross."To override the veto, two-thirds of the legislature would have to vote for it. That's unlikely:
The measure passed 46-19 in the House and 22-13 in the Senate, with a number of Republicans crossing party lines to support it, but it did not have enough support for the two-thirds vote needed in each house to override the veto.Owens turned the bill on its head by making it about religious choices, instead of about rape victims:
"Without informed consent, a woman could innocently violate her personal, moral and religious beliefs about when life begins," Owens said.As one legislator said, if a woman had been shot, would we not tell her she had the right to remove the bullet?