OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives approved two bills to reduce abortions in the state earlier this month.
House Bill 1102, authored by Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland, directs the Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision and the State Board of Osteopathic Examiners to revoke the licenses of physicians who perform abortions for at least one year. The bill provides an exception for abortions performed to save the life of the mother.
“Government exists to uphold our God-given rights, including the right to life,” Olsen said. “We as Oklahomans must do all we can to stand up against the atrocity of abortion.”
HB1102 also directs the Attorney General’s office to calculate costs paid for by the state or local entities in court challenges to the bill and report the amounts for each calendar quarter to the Legislature.
Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, is the author of House Bill 2441 that would stop abortions from being performed once an unborn child is determined to have a detectable heartbeat.
“A physical heartbeat is proof that a baby is alive and deserves all the protections afforded every other living person,” Russ said. “Unborn babies are more important than an inconvenience. The unborn cannot speak or fight for themselves, so we must step in to advocate on their behalf and help save their lives.”
The measure also would require any facility where abortions are performed to post a sign in a conspicuous place stating that it is against the law for anyone to force another person to have an abortion and that abortions induced by medication using a two-step process may be reversible if the second dosage has not been taken within the first 24 hours.
Rep. Andy Fugate, D-Del City, says the House passed unconstitutional abortion bills.
“I guess they continue to hope the Supreme Court will change its mind. I pray it does not,” Fugate said. “Because if it does, then we are no longer living under the rule of law. Instead, we live under the tyranny of nine unelected people who can change their minds as they see fit.”
He continued, “The Constitution has been amended 27 times in its history. In fact, it’s been amended 3 times just within my lifetime. If my Republican colleagues were truly interested in banning abortion, they would call for amending the Constitution. It’s abundantly clear they are only interested in perpetuating abortion so they have an issue they can use to inflame their voters. Banning abortion won’t prevent abortions any more than banning guns would prevent shootings.”
Rev. Paul Abner, president of Oklahoma Faith Leaders, thanked both representatives for their legislation.
“Today, the Oklahoma House of Representatives decided that Oklahoma is a state that supports life,” Abner said. “The members of the Oklahoma Faith Leaders are incredibly proud of these monumental bills that passed the House today and look forward to helping them through the Senate and on to the Governor to sign.”
Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, praised both bills.
“I am encouraged by the vote of our legislative leaders who recognize abortion as a violation of the sanctity and dignity of human life,” Coakley said. “Our society must consistently enact and embrace just laws that embody a proper regard for the sanctity of the human person and reject the throwaway mentality that treats human beings as valuable or disposable based merely on their usefulness. Every life is precious and has infinite value in the eyes of God who creates each of us out of love.”
HB1102 and HB2441 passed the House 81-18 and 80-19, respectively. Both bills now proceed to the Senate for consideration.