Lawmakers in the Oklahoma House passed legislation Tuesday morning that would result in the total prohibition of all abortions, except for those conducted to save the life of the mother. Senate Bill 612 passed the Senate last year and now heads to the desk of Governor Kevin Stitt for approval. According to the Associated Press, Stitt has previously said he would pass any pro-life legislation sent his way.
Under the legislation, anyone found guilty of committing an abortion would face a felony charge, up to 10 years in prison, and a $100,000 fine. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Jim Olsen, stressed that it was only the people committing the abortions who would be penalized. “The penalties are for the doctor, not for the woman,” he said.
While the bill does allow abortions if the life of the mother is threatened, it is never truly medically necessary to intentionally and directly kill an undelivered baby. There are some rare instances in which a mother’s health requires the preterm delivery of her child. If this needs to be done, every effort can be made to ensure the care and comfort of the baby — and, with babies now surviving outside the womb as young as 21 weeks, there is a chance that the child may survive with medical intervention. In contrast, abortion intentionally kills and therefore cannot be considered legitimate health care.
READ: Oklahoma bill will give women resources and support during unplanned pregnancies
Last month, legislators in the Oklahoma House passed a different bill that would ban all abortions, utilizing a Texas-style enforcement mechanism in which citizens can sue anyone who aids and abets in an abortion. That bill never passed the Senate, giving this one a greater chance at becoming law should Gov. Stitt choose to sign it.
The vote came as abortion advocates protested outside the state’s Capitol building for a “Bans off Oklahoma” rally.
“Anti-abortion lawmakers have outdone themselves this session, proposing nearly twenty abortion restrictions,” Emily Wales, interim president of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes, said in a statement to Newsweek. “Not only have they moved seven anti-abortion bills, including two Texas-style abortion bans, but as we rallied outside today, the House approved a total abortion ban — proving they seek complete control over the bodies and lives of Oklahomans.”
Every successful abortion destroys the body and ends the life of a human being that is genetically distinct from his or her mother.
Along with the abortion ban, the House also passed a measure to designate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade as the “Day of Tears.” On that day, flags will be flown at half staff to “mourn the innocent, preborn children who have lost their lives due to abortion.”
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