Republican leaders in the Oklahoma State Senate have blocked SB 1118, a bill to classify abortion as first-degree murder punishable by life imprisonment or the death penalty, from coming up for a floor vote.
Last week, Live Action News reported that the bill was introduced by Republican State Senator Joe Silk in response to a 30,000-signature petition drive calling for a more absolute and immediate stand against abortion than incremental pro-life legislation. Tactically, there are differing schools of thought in the pro-life movement regarding whether state legislatures should go as far as total criminalization before overturning Roe v. Wade.
However, Senate leadership’s move to block a vote has denied SB 1118 its required third reading prior to the March 10 deadline, killing it for the remainder of the session.
Tony Lauinger, chairman of Oklahomans for Life chairman Tony Lauinger praised the decision as a necessary end to a wrongheaded strategy, asking, “do we want to make a statement, or do we want to make a difference?”
However, Silk blasted the block as “frustrating,” challenging opponents of SB 1118 if they are “really pro-life.”
Silk stated: “The state of Oklahoma must stop passing ‘pro-life’ laws that say when you can murder your child, and instead pass laws that call abortion murder. The legislature must stand up and force the courts to uphold the Constitution which protects life.”