A controversial bill introduced by Oklahoma Republican state senator, Julie Daniels, seeks to repeal the total ban on abortion in the state. The bill, which is backed by the National Right to Life so-called “pro-life” organization, offers amendments to previously passed legislation that puts an outright ban on abortion in the state and adds exceptions to the bill for rape, incest, or prescription chemical abortions.
The text of the bill currently in place states that it shall be a felony violation of state law to procure an abortion but the Republican-backed legislation seeks to amend the current law by adding the following exceptions:
- “The pregnancy is the result of rape or sexual assault that has been reported to law enforcement, or incest of a minor that has been reported to law enforcement,”
- “The use, prescription, administration, procuring, or selling of any type of contraception.”
On the floor of the bill hearing, Julie Daniels defended the bill stating that her purpose in introducing it is to “make clear, consistent, and uniform Oklahoma state laws on the topic of abortion.”
Currently, you cannot seek a surgical abortion in the state of Oklahoma and in light of this, all abortion facilities in the state have been closed. However, argues Oklahoma abolitionist, James Silberman, this bill would allow these facilities to reopen to perform surgical abortions on women who claim to have been raped.
Silberman said that after he watched the hearing for the bill, he approached National Right to Life president, Tony Lauinger and asked what his position on the bill was. He said he was shocked to hear that the pro-life leader was behind the bill. Recalling Lauinger’s words, Silberman restated, “We support this bill, and what we need to do is create durable laws that can withstand the misinformation of the left and following the overturn of Roe.”
Silberman said that Lauinger argued that these abortion exceptions were necessary in order to create a “more durable” pro-life law and that this is how he explains putting exceptions for the murder of unborn children into so-called “pro-life” legislation.