Oklahoma Bill Would Make Abortion Illegal if Roe v. Wade Overturned
by Steven Ertelt
January 4, 2007
Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — An Oklahoma state representative has filed legislation that would make abortions illegal in the state should the Supreme Court ever overturn Roe. The measure, known as a trigger law, would go into effect immediately should the high court reverse its 1973 decision that essentially allowed unlimited abortions.
Rep. Mike Reynolds, a Republican, is the bill’s prime sponsor and he said on Wednesday that the measure is important because of a change in the makeup of the Supreme Court.
President Bush has appointed two new justices seen as more likely to support overturning the landmark decision. One new appointee, Justice Samuel Alito, replaced retiring pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who had voted to uphold Roe.
"This legislation will ensure the state of Oklahoma acts immediately to save the lives of the unborn if we are given the chance," Reynolds told AP about his legislation.
He said that abortion should be returned to its pre-1973 legal status where states had the authority to decide for themselves if abortions should be allowed or prohibited.
Reynolds also told the Associated Press that he doesn’t know whether Oklahoma’s pre-Roe laws against abortion could be enforced even if the decision is overturned so he wants to make sure abortion is illegal if that happens.
"This bill gives the members of the Oklahoma Legislature the chance to go on the record and say we want to save the lives of unborn children," Reynolds said.
Linda Meek, executive administrator of Reproductive Services Inc. of Tulsa, an abortion business, told AP the abortion center would continue to do abortions as long as they are legal and fight efforts to prohibit them.
"If Roe v. Wade is overturned, we will deal with it at that time," she said.
Other states have been examining similar trigger laws — Utah State Rep. Paul Ray is considering proposing a law there and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco signed a trigger law last June.
Dorinda Bordlee, a long-time pro-life attorney in Louisiana and vice president of the Bioethics Defense Fund, told LifeNews.com other states should follow Louisiana’s lead.
"Our approach to include a post-Roe activation clause, sometimes called a trigger clause, enabled the legislators to speak their hearts without abortion industry lawyer’s breathing down their backs," Bordlee explained.
"It allowed post-abortive women to educate the legislators about how abortion negatively impacted their lives in profound ways," Bordlee added. "Other states that choose to follow Louisiana’s lead will help build a consensus to reverse Roe."
A nationwide survey of state laws by the Life Legal Defense Fund finds that just seven states, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Wisconsin would ban all or most abortions if Roe is reversed.