Oklahoma Senate Committee Passes Bill to Ban Abortions When Unborn Baby’s Heart Starts Beating

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 22, 2022   |   12:18PM   |   Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Four bills on their way to the Oklahoma Senate would protect thousands of unborn babies from being killed in abortions and provide support to their mothers.

Muskogee Now reports the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted Monday to advance all four bills to the full Senate for a vote.

“This is an opportunity to save more Oklahomans. I hope that we see a good decision out of the U.S. Supreme Court, but we can’t wait around for that,” Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat told the committee, Fox 23 News reports. “We need to save unborn life.”

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this summer on a Mississippi abortion case that could overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion again.

Treat said the bills will make sure Oklahoma can begin protecting unborn babies’ right to life as soon as the high court allows states to do so.

One bill, Senate Bill 1553, would ban abortions more than 30 days after a woman’s last menstrual period. Another, Senate Bill 1503, modeled after the Texas heartbeat law, would prohibit abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy, and allow private citizens to sue abortionists who break the law.

TAKE ACTION: Support these bills by contacting Oklahoma state senators.

A third bill, Senate Joint Resolution 37, would amend the state constitution to ensure that “nothing in the Constitution secures or protects a right to an abortion.” To be ratified, the amendment must pass the legislature and then a state-wide ballot vote.

The committee also passed Senate Bill 1552 to provide grants through the Choosing Childbirth Act to help pregnant mothers find medical and housing assistance, adoption services, parenting education, job assistance and more.

Tulsa World reports Democrats on the committee criticized the bills that would ban abortions, saying they only apply to women.

According to the report:

“Nothing in this legislation applies to men. Is that correct?” asked Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City.

Treat said women are the only ones biologically able to carry a baby in the womb.

“This legislation only affects those able to carry a baby to term potentially, but it excludes the father or individual responsible for creating a clump of cells. Is that correct?” Hicks said.

Treat said he took issue with describing a human being as a “clump of cells.”

About 4,000 unborn babies are aborted every year in Oklahoma, according to state health statistics.

All across the country, state lawmakers have introduced hundreds of pro-life bills this year in anticipation that the Supreme Court could overturn Roe this summer. Since 1973, states have been forced to legalize abortions without limits up to viability, and more than 63.5 million unborn babies have been killed.

The Guttmacher Institute estimates 26 states “are certain or likely to ban abortions” if the Supreme Court gets rid of Roe. And researchers estimated that abortion numbers would drop by about 120,000 in the first year and potentially even more in subsequent years if the high court allows states to ban abortions again.

TAKE ACTION: Support these bills by contacting Oklahoma state senators.