The Oklahoma legislature has an all of the above approach to protecting babies from abortion and the latest measure it has approved is a trigger bill that would ban abortion immediately as soon as the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
Often referred to as a “trigger ban,” the pro-life legislation to ban abortions would take effect on the day that the nation’s highest court finally overturns the horrific Roe case that ushered in an era of abortion on demand that has snuffed out the lives of 63 million unborn babies.
Senate Bill 1555is now heading to Gov. Kevin Stitt’s desk and the pro-life governor is expected to sign it soon.
“One of the things we agree on in this debate is that we have a moral obligation is that we a moral obligation to protect every Oklahoman but I would say one of the differences is when I say every Oklahoman, I mean every Oklahoman and that means in the abortion,” said state Rep. Jon Echols, (R) Oklahoma City.
“What this bill does is make sure, in the event portions of Roe v Wade is overturned, we continue to have our pro-life laws,” Echols said.
The Supreme Court is expected to hand down a ruling in the Dobbs case in June — and if it decides to reverse Roe Oklahoma would then be one of more than two dozen states expected to ban abortions via similar trigger laws or the passage of bills at that time to ban abortions.
Currently, because of Roe, states are forced to legalize abortions up to viability. However, the Supreme Court is considering a Mississippi case that challenges that precedent, and a ruling is expected this summer.
Earlier this month, Stitt signed a bill to ban aboritons that will save approximately 4,000 babies from abortion every year. But because of Roe, that abortion ban can’t be enforced.
“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.”
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.
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.
The Guttmacher Institute estimates 26 states “are certain or likely to ban abortions” if the Supreme Court gets rid of Roe. Researchers estimate 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.
Across the country, state lawmakers are introducing legislation to protect unborn babies from abortion in the hopes that Roe soon will be overturned. Florida just passed a 15-week abortion ban that would save thousands of unborn babies from abortion every year, and the Idaho legislature passed a heartbeat bill. Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Arizona and other states also are advancing pro-life legislation this spring.
Meanwhile, pro-life advocates also are working to expand support services for families in need, through pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and even programs to help pregnant mothers in prison choose life for their babies.