More babies and their moms in Oklahoma have been spared from the pain and regret of abortion in the past decade thanks to a growing number of pro-life laws and pregnancy resources.
The Oklahoman reports the state’s abortion rate dropped 34 percent between 2006 and 2014. According to the latest numbers from the state, there were 4,487 abortions done in 2014 in Oklahoma.
Tony Lauinger, president of Oklahomans for Life, attributed the drop to the pro-life laws that Oklahoma legislators have passed recently, as well as the growing number of pregnancy help centers offering resources to moms and babies.
“I think it is fair to say that the legislation that has been enacted in recent years has been a significant factor in abortion declines,” Lauinger told the newspaper. “There are other factors, as well, but Oklahoma and the legislature has become more strongly pro-life over the years.”
“The number of pregnancy resource centers has grown markedly over time, and it’s provided increased support to those pregnant women in a predicament and a circumstance that is very tough to deal with,” Lauinger added.
One law that likely contributed to a major drop in abortions is a parental consent requirement for girls under 18 seeking abortions. According to the report, abortions among women ages 20 and younger dropped a full 46 percent since 2006, the year when the Oklahoma law went into effect.
In 2016, Americans United for Life gave Oklahoma the distinction of being the most pro-life state in the U.S.
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However, the state has faced more than its share of legal challenges from abortion advocates. Pro-lifers won a temporary victory in January when a judge rejected an abortionist’s argument against a state law requiring abortion clinics to provide information to help protect young rape victims.
District Judge Thomas Prince rejected a request from Oklahoma abortionist Larry A. Burns and the Center for Reproductive Rights to rule the new law unconstitutional in January, according to the Associated Press. However, the judge did uphold an Oklahoma Supreme Court order that stops the law from taking effect until the case is fully resolved, the AP reports.
In another case, an Oklahoma district judge also put on hold a state law to ban dismemberment abortions that tear babies limb from limb in October, according to a local news report. The law made Oklahoma the second state in the nation to protect unborn children from dismemberment abortions.
A third pro-life law passed in Oklahoma earlier in 2015 to increase the waiting period for abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours, LifeNews.com previously reported. That law also was challenged, but an Oklahoma district judge refused to delay that law, according to the report.
The state legislature currently is considering two strong, pro-life bills that could end abortion completely in the state. One would ban abortionists from receiving medical licenses in the state, and the other would make abortion a crime of first-degree murder. However, they are extremely unlikely to be upheld as constitutional by the current U.S. Supreme Court.