The Oklahoma Senate approved a controversial new bill Tuesday to stop abortionists from receiving medical licenses in the state.
The Associated Press reports Oklahoma Senate Bill 1552 passed with an overwhelming majority in a 40-7 vote. The bill would prohibit Oklahoma medical licensure officials from renewing or granting licenses to any doctors who do abortions, according to the report.
Oklahoma Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, who sponsored the bill, said his intention is to “protect the life of the unborn.”
“I think this is one of the core functions of government,” Dahm said. “All people have the inherent right to life.”
However, several Democrats spoke up in opposition of the bill, saying it is unconstitutional and would never withstand legal challenges. According to the report:
[Democratic Leader Sen. John] Sparks successfully amended the bill to require the attorney general to disclose the costs of defending the proposal in court.
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A New York abortion rights group has filed seven legal challenges in the last five years to various anti-abortion laws passed by the Oklahoma Legislature, and most of those laws have been overturned by the courts. Some legal challenges are still pending.
Anti-abortion activist John Reasnor of Norman stood outside the Senate chamber urging lawmakers to hear a separate anti-abortion measure that would make it a felony crime to perform an abortion. That proposal has not been scheduled for a hearing on the floor.
“I think it’s a Christian obligation to seek out mercy for the least of us,” Reasnor said.
The Oklahoma State Medical Association typically does not take a position on abortion, but has said it opposes Dahm’s bill.
“As long as it remains a legal act, we oppose legislation that would penalize physicians for exercising their medical judgment,” OSMA spokesman Wes Glinsman said in an email. “We oppose SB 1552 because it is just another attempt to intimidate physicians and to put politics in the middle of the physician/patient relationship.”
The bill moves to the Oklahoma House for consideration.
Unfortunately, the Democratic opponents to the bill probably are right about legal challenges. The bill and a similar piece of legislation that would make abortion a crime of first-degree murder have good intentions but are unlikely to become law given the current political situation in America.
Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that states cannot restrict a woman’s so-called right to abortion. If the Oklahoma bills became law, abortion advocates almost certainly would challenge them in the courts. Given the current U.S. Supreme Court justices’ records, the laws likely would be struck down and Roe v. Wade upheld. After the recent death of pro-life Justice Antonin Scalia, the high court is more likely than ever to strike down pro-life laws.
Because of Roe, American abortion laws line up with human rights abusive countries like China and North Korea in their permissiveness of abortion. The U.S. is one of four countries in the world to allow late-term abortions for any reason. Most other countries have laws restricting or banning abortion. The deadly decision has allowed more than 58 million unborn babies’ lives to be unjustly taken in the past 43 years.
Roe, a decision made by nine male justices in 1973, stands in the way of life-protecting laws that most Americans support. That’s why overturning the deadly decision Roe v. Wade has been a key strategy of pro-life groups for decades.