Oklahoma House lawmakers want to make it clear that killing human beings should never be part of the medical profession.
On Thursday, they passed state House Bill 1182 to revoke the medical licenses of doctors who do abortions, Tulsa World reports. Doctors who abort unborn babies would lose their license for at least six months and have to pay a fine of at least $500. Exceptions would be allowed if the mother’s life or health is at risk. The vote was 71-21.
State Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland, the sponsor of the bill, thanked House lawmakers for voting to support unborn babies’ right to life.
“Every single human life, born and unborn, has value. It’s our obligation as a civilized people to defend and fight for those who cannot fight for themselves,” Olsen said.
Prior to the vote, state Rep. Brad Boles, R-Marlow, explained his personal reasons for supporting the bill, The Shawnee News-Star reports. Boles said he was adopted, and he is grateful for the courage his birth mother showed when she chose life for him.
“Now she had a million reasons why it would have been more convenient for her to choose abortion—economic reasons, future college, athletic reasons—but she chose life,” Boles said. “And due to that decision she made unselfishly, I’m here today.”
Abortion advocacy groups quickly slammed the legislation, and the American Civil Liberties Union suggested it may file a lawsuit if the bill becomes law.
The ACLU told KJRH News 2 that the bill is an “an unconstitutional measure which undermines reproductive autonomy and inserts the government in private healthcare decisions by punishing abortion care providers.”
In 2016, pro-life Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a similar bill because of the likelihood of it being ruled unconstitutional and being forced to pay huge amounts of money to pro-abortion legal groups.
Pro-life lawmakers, however, expressed hope that the legislation will be enforced
According to Tulsa World:
Constitutionality is no longer viewed as the obstacle it once was by those intent on banning abortion. Aside from changes in the makeup of the federal courts, they take inspiration from state legalization of marijuana.
Olsen, in an exchange with Rep. Jay Steagall, R-Yukon, noted that marijuana remains illegal under federal law but allowed for medicinal use in Oklahoma. Olsen said Oklahoma should assert the same principle regarding abortion — to in effect ignore federal court decisions.
The Supreme Court took away the states’ ability to protect unborn babies from abortion under Roe v. Wade, and instead allowed abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Roe made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks.
Pro-life advocates hope the new conservative U.S. Supreme Court will reverse the pro-abortion ruling and allow states to restrict or outlaw the killing of the unborn. But, for now, that remains uncertain. Many leading pro-life groups caution pro-life lawmakers to be strategic with pro-life legislation. The abortion industry frequently files costly lawsuits to challenge pro-life laws, and, when it wins, state taxpayers often are forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to pro-abortion groups’ lawyers.