Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has signed a bill to ban aboritons that will save approximately 4,000 babies from abortion every year.
“I promised Oklahomans that I would sign every pro-life bill that hit my desk, and that’s what we’re doing here today,” the governor said. “We want Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country. We want to outlaw abortion in the state of Oklahoma.”
Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor said that he looks forward to “defending this law” from anticipated legal challenges from abortion companies. The Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood will challenge the law.
The state legislature passed the abortion ban (Senate Bill 612) sponsored by state Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, by a strong majority. The vote was 70-14 in the House, 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. That means the legislation could save thousands of unborn babies’ lives every year, not just in Oklahoma but also in Texas.
Stitt said that this bill “will take care” of Texans crossing state borders to obtain abortion care, adding: “We certainly don’t want Texans coming up to Oklahoma.”
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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.
SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser praised Stitt and Oklahoma lawmakers, saying: “Oklahoma has enacted some of the nation’s strongest protections for unborn children and their mothers, which could save as many as 3,800 lives a year. Science shows us unborn babies are human beings, with beating hearts by six weeks. We commend Governor Stitt for his courageous leadership, the state legislature for their overwhelming support, and all our local allies for fighting tirelessly for the will of Oklahomans.”
This isn’t the only pro-life bill Oklahoma has approved.
Oklahoma House lawmakers declared Jan. 22 to be a Day of Tears for aborted babies and encouraged flags to be lowered to half-staff in a special resolution last week.
And the legislature is advancing a Texas-style abortion ban with a private enforcement.
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.