This week the legislature sent two contradictory bills to the governor. With HB 2441 the legislature has said that abortion is legal, but with HB 1102 that doctors ought not perform them. They have said with HB 2441 that abortion is not criminal, but with HB 1102 that abortion is unprofessional conduct.
What a mess. Governor Stitt has a conundrum before him. The legislature is insisting they can have it both ways, that a square has no corners and that a circle does. Looking squarely at this nonsense, the governor is trying to decipher this political geometry and what it would mean. This is what happens when there is a lack of principle and leadership in the top executive and legislative positions. Let us analyze each of these measures to understand its implications.
House Bill 2441, the “Heartbeat Bill,” was passed in both the House and Senate by overwhelming majorities. The key language states: “No person shall perform or induce an abortion upon a pregnant woman after such time as her unborn child has been determined to have a detectable heartbeat…”
Clearly, this bill discriminates against very young human beings who do not have detectable heartbeats. This violates the constitutionally guaranteed right to life and requirement for equal protection under the law. Therefore, this proposal is unlawful and should have been rejected. Furthermore, even if enacted, the bill would be completely unenforceable, since it would trust abortionists, whose livelihood depends upon murder, to confirm that they found no heartbeats in their victims.
GOP politicians like to support this type of proposal because it is popular with big “pro-life” organizations across the country and has been passed in multiple states. Of course, none of them have gone into effect or saved any lives. Among the Republican caucus, only Senators Hamilton and Merrick rightly voted against this bill. It would make an excellent litmus test on the Oklahoma Conservative Index. A Nay vote would represent a vote to uphold the Constitution and equal protection and refusal to continue the pro-life charade of the legislative leaders.
For an exposé of how heartbeat bills have played pro-lifers for fools, see this pointed three-minute video:
Now let us turn to House Bill 1102, “Abortion as Unprofessional Conduct.” This bill was passed with the exact same GOP votes as the previous bill. The key language states: “The words ‘unprofessional conduct’…are hereby declared to include…Performance of an abortion…”
There is nothing morally or legally wrong with the concept of this bill as it relates to its given section of statutory code. It is proper to yank the license of a doctor who commits murder by abortion. This is certainly ONE of the consequences that should befall such a wicked individual. However, losing one’s license should not be the first or only penalty. It should follow after other convictions and punishments that fit the crime.
The problem with this legislation is that it is being advanced by legislative leadership as a weak alternative to establishing equal protection of the law as required by natural law and our constitutions. Furthermore, this law poses a confusing contradiction for the executive branch, which has just been told in HB 2441 that abortion is not criminal if no heartbeat is detected. So which is it? Which bill should the governor sign and enforce, and why? To be fair, this bill, if enacted, has the potential to save lives, but here is what would have to happen:
- The State Board of Osteopathic Examiners (the Board) would have to investigate and gather evidence against a doctor who committed murder by abortion. This would require them to literally search for and document evidence that a doctor performed an abortion at an abortion facility. They would also have to subpoena and question employees and victims of abortion facilities. These board members are lay persons and Osteopathic doctors, not criminal investigators, prosecutors, or law enforcement personnel.
- The Board would then have to conduct a public hearing at which the doctor could defend himself.
- Next, three fourths of the Board present would have to vote to revoke the license of a fellow doctor who was following legal, well-established, state-sanctioned and state-regulated medical procedures.
- Then, should the Board vote to revoke his license, the doctor could seek judicial review of the decision, and the court system would have to uphold the Board’s decision. Would a pro-abortion court uphold the decision?
- Furthermore, these steps assume that a court does not stay the licensing legislation at the outset, which is almost certain.
- In the eventuality of a court stay, the Board would have to carry out these steps in defiance of the court.
- Finally, if the Board refused to defy the court, then the governor would have to defy the court by ordering the Board to enforce the law and replace anyone on the Board who would not comply with the governor’s directives.
Given existing statutes and lack of leadership, the likelihood of revoking a doctor’s license would be tenuous at best and require great courage from the executive branch. In the meantime, the doctor under investigation would continue to rake in thousands of dollars to commit routine murder by abortion. In the end, if a particular doctor did lose his license for a year, the owners of the abortion deathcamp could simply bring in another doctor and force the Board to go through the entire process all over again.
Were this legislation to be enacted, and the executive branch to defy the courts, and one or more doctors to be prevented from murdering preborn babies for a year, we should all be grateful that lives were saved. However, we are skeptical that the key players would have the courage to follow through with such action. Collectively, we are not seeking justice and equal protection for the preborn, and we routinely obey immoral and unconstitutional court orders, stays, and opinions. Should we expect God to bless this sleight-of-hand tactic?
If we are going to ask the executive branch to stand up against the judicial tyranny of the courts, why not go all the way? Criminalize all abortions for everyone equally, immediately stop all the bloodshed, and go after all perpetrators. Would not this be the appropriate expenditure of the political resources and capital necessary to abolish abortion?
In conclusion, the Abortion as Unprofessional Conduct bill alone would not establish justice, since revoking a medical license for a year is not an adequate response to murder. It is questionable whether the courts would allow licenses to be revoked for performing legal, state-sanctioned and state-regulated medical procedures. The bill does not address abortion procurement or self-induced abortions. While there is nothing inherently wrong with adding performance of abortion to the legal definition of Unprofessional Conduct, this is the kind of bill that legislators will hide behind. While shirking their duty to criminalize the performance and procurement of abortion across the board for everyone, they will point to their Yea vote on this bill to convince voters that they are pro-life.
This bill should not be used to judge a legislator’s commitment to protect the preborn. While well-intentioned and perhaps appropriate after abortion is criminalized, it serves as little more than a distraction and false positive in our current capitol climate that is dominated by fake pro-life politicians in leadership positions.
What will Governor Stitt do with the round square he has been handed? Will he discriminate against the youngest preborn Oklahomans? Does he consider abortion to be murder, or just unprofessional conduct? Without clear direction and leadership from the beginning, he is left in a quandary.