Pro-life legislation on its way to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt would protect almost 4,000 unborn babies every year by banning abortions in the state.
Tulsa World reports the state House passed the abortion ban (Senate Bill 612), sponsored by state Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, by a strong majority Tuesday. The vote was 70-14, with one Republican, state Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa, joining Democrats in voting against it.
The pro-life bill bans all abortions in Oklahoma except if the mother’s life is at risk. It also creates felony charges for abortionists who kill unborn babies in violation of the ban, which includes up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
About 4,000 unborn babies are aborted every year in Oklahoma, according to state health statistics; but abortion industry workers say they have been seeing more women come from Texas for abortions since the Texas heartbeat law went into effect in September.
Emily Wales, interim president of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes, said their abortion facility in Oklahoma saw an 800-percent increase in women coming from Texas for abortions since last fall, according to the Associated Press.
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That means the legislation could save thousands of unborn babies’ lives every year, not just in Oklahoma but also in Texas.
At a pro-abortion protest Tuesday outside the Oklahoma Capitol, Wales claimed that women “need and deserve” abortions, and she accused pro-life lawmakers of “relentless attacks on our freedoms.”
But Dahm, the lead sponsor of the bill, said abortions destroy innocent human lives.
“For almost half a century, our nation has sacrificed unborn children, costing over 60 million lives,” he said in a statement. “The core and proper function of government is to protect our rights. Any attempt to knowingly and willingly take an innocent life through abortion must be stopped.”
The bill passed the state Senate by a strong majority during the last session. Stitt, a pro-life Republican, is expected to sign it.
Also on Tuesday, lawmakers passed House Concurrent Resolution 1014, sponsored by state Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland, declaring Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, to be a day of mourning for unborn babies and encouraging flags to be lowered to half-staff.
All across the country, state lawmakers have introduced hundreds of pro-life bills this year in anticipation that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe. 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. 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.