An Oklahoma state senator hopes to completely end abortions in his state in 2021.
On Wednesday, state Sen. Warren Hamilton, R-McCurtain, said he plans to file a bill that would provide equal justice and protection for unborn babies under the law, KJHR News 2 reports.
“All human life is sacred from the very moment of conception,” Hamilton said. “As Americans, we must stand up for those who cannot defend themselves, those not yet born, and protect their lives at all costs. Abortion is an abomination before God, and something we must stop here in Oklahoma if we expect our state to be great.”
The bill, Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act/Equal Protection and Equal Justice Act, would make it clear that every human being, from the moment of fertilization, has the same inalienable rights under the U.S. Constitution, Hamilton said.
According to The Hill, the proposed legislation will make the legal argument that “the U.S. Constitution does not prohibit states from exercising reserved police powers to outlaw homicide and provide equal protection to all persons within its jurisdiction.”
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But what success this argument will have in court, if the legislation passes, is uncertain. American Civil Liberties Union leader Nicole McAfee slammed Hamilton’s bill as an “extremist attack … on access to critical care,” the report states. The ACLU frequently challenges pro-life laws in court, and, when it wins, state taxpayers often are forced to pay its lawyers’ legal fees.
McAfee claimed Hamilton’s pro-life bill “shows a disappointing lack of respect for the rights and liberties of Oklahomans.”
But Hamilton said his goal is the exact opposite; he is fighting for the rights and liberties of all Oklahomans, not just the ones who have been born.
“It’s far past time that we stand up for our preborn children and ensure every human being, regardless of their stage of development, is protected by our laws,” Hamilton said.
Muskogee Now reports his bill has the support of the Southern Baptists for the Abolition of Abortion; Freewill Baptists Abolitionist Society; Free the States; Oklahomans United for Life; The Ekklesia of Oklahoma; City Elders; Fairview Baptist Church; Reclaiming America for Christ; Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee; Western Oklahoma Christians for Liberty; Congressional District 3 Republican Party Chairman Daniel Navejas; and Logan County Republican Party Chairman Kyle Brown.
Such bills can be controversial even among pro-life advocates because of the uncertainty of them succeeding in a legal challenge. When states lose these battles, taxpayers often are forced to pay pro-abortion groups’ legal fees for the court cases.
Abortion groups have succeeded in overturning similar laws in court. In 2012, the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a personhood bill as unconstitutional because it recognized unborn babies as human beings who deserve the right to life.
When considering a Missouri statute in 1989, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist ruled that the personhood statute was nothing more than a statement of position that had no bearing on banning abortions or even limiting them in any way.
Missouri had approved a statute saying, “the life of each human being begins at conception” and “unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and well-being.” The statute required that all Missouri state laws be interpreted to provide unborn children with rights equal to those enjoyed by other persons.
The U.S. Court for the Western District of Missouri struck down that provision and the abortion limits. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed and ruled they violated Roe v. Wade.
The U.S. Supreme Court then ruled that it did not need to consider the constitutionality of the law’s preamble, defining personhood at conception, as it could not be used to support any abortion laws that conflicted with Roe. Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote the decision. Ultimately, the Supreme Court upheld the personhood language Missouri used decades ago but did not allow it to ban — or even limit — any abortions.
There is more hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain. Some legal scholars have speculated that the current court would be more likely to consider cases that gradually chip away at Roe v. Wade – such as a dismemberment abortion ban – rather than reverse it completely.