Last week, three pro-life bills were advanced to the full Oklahoma Senate by the Health and Human Services Committee. House Bill 1102 classifies abortion as “unprofessional conduct,” and calls for a one-year license suspension for any doctor who commits one. There is an exception allowed for abortions deemed “necessary to prevent the death of the mother or to prevent substantial or irreversible physical impairment of the mother that substantially increases the risk of death.” Psychological conditions are not included in this exception.
HB 2441 outlaws abortion after the preborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected, allowing the same exception as HB 1102. It also mandates that abortionists must actually check for the presence of a heartbeat prior to committing an abortion. Provision D of the bill states that anyone who violates these mandates “shall be guilty of homicide.”
HB 1904 dictates that all abortions must be performed by board-certified OB-GYNs. Anyone violating the law will be considered guilty of a felony punishable by a term of 1-3 years, according to the text of the bill.
Senator Carri Hicks (D-Oklahoma City) objected to HB 1904, stunningly seeming to equate abortions to vasectomies, asking if HB 1102 would apply to the doctors who perform those procedures, as well. Perhaps Hicks is unaware of the significant differences between sperm (gametes with only half of the genes required to make a human being) and preborn children (which are fully human, with complete and unique sets of DNA).
Hicks also suggested that the bill is unnecessary because evidence does not show that abortions committed by non-OB-GYNs result in more complications. She called the bill “entirely political in nature and not based on scientific evidence” and suggested that Oklahoma’s physician shortage might be exacerbated by HB 1102, which, according to her, might drive existing Oklahoma doctors out-of-state.
In truth, 9 out of 10 OB-GYNs refuse to commit abortions — and OB-GYNs make up a fraction of the medical community as a whole — so it’s not as though a sizable percentage of Oklahoma doctors will suffer from having to sacrifice their abortion practices. In fact, AbortionDocs.org, an industry watchdog site which tracks the doctors committing abortions and their locations, lists just nine doctors in the entire state who commit abortions.
Sen. Hicks’s colleague, Sen. George Young (D-Oklahoma City) said that HB 1904 struck him as something “other than helpful or truthful,” and suggested that those opposed to abortion should simply attempt to ban the procedure. However, this is precisely what HB 1102 would effectively do.
All three bills can now move on to the full Senate.
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