Every year pro-life establishment politicians play a game in which they advance several bills which they and the National Right to Life lobby have labeled “pro-life.” The bills are designed to look good and sound compassionate, but they actually do nothing to establish justice and stop the shedding of innocent blood. Many of them delay or even hinder the goal of abolishing abortion.
We are now a third of the way through the 2019 Legislative Session and past the first arbitrary deadline in which bills must have passed their house of origin in order to be considered by the legislative body across the rotunda. Of twelve abortion-related bills, only three have advanced to the opposite chamber. Since the other nine bills were not voted down, they are not technically dead. They are just moth-balled until next year.
Following is a review of the three bills which have advanced. Note that none of them is a bill of abolition, or would provide equal protection under the law, or restore the right to life. Keep in mind that Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat and House Speaker Charles McCall can orchestrate changes to these bills until they are voted down or advanced to the Governor. Therefore, any of these could be amended to become true bills of abolition if either of these leaders has a softening of heart. We must continue to ask Pro Tem Treat and Speaker McCall to adopt the language of Senate Bill 13, the “Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act,” to establish justice.
Senate Bill 195 – “Franken-Bill” by Sen. Greg Treat & Rep. Jon Echols
This bill is like the creature of the mad scientist Victor Frankenstein. Senate leader Greg Treat keeps replacing body parts every time it comes up for a vote. It started as a meaningless statement of personhood. Then, Treat changed it to a trigger bill which surrendered Oklahoma’s civil authority over abortion to the federal supreme Court. Finally, he passed it in the Senate (40-8) as a proposed change to the Oklahoma Constitution. Who knows what it will become once the House gets done with it?
Key Language: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects the right to perform or receive an abortion…”
Problems: The proposal sounds good at first glance, but the devil does present himself in several details that follow the key language. First, Article 2 Sections 2 and 7 of the Oklahoma Constitution already guarantee the right to life for everyone, but if the people accept the change that is currently proposed by Sen. Treat, it would create a constitutional license to murder those preborn humans who are developing outside the uterus. This language is found buried in the definition of “abortion,” and it was exposed brilliantly by Sen. Joseph Silk during the Senate debate.
Second, the proposed change would specifically spell out the right of the state to “regulate” abortion. Abortion should not be regulated; it should be abolished!
Furthermore, the proposed ballot title appears to indicate that abortion may still be viewed by the state as a “right” under the Constitution of the United States.
Finally, the reason for the proposal is specious. The following lie was posted on the Oklahoma Senate Republicans Facebook group: “If SB 195 is passed, the legislature will be able to pass more pro-life measures that will further prevent abortions in our state and decrease the number of abortion clinics as well.” That is completely false, because the Oklahoma Supreme Court does not use the state constitution to overturn abortion-related legislation. They immediately cite Planned Parenthood v. Casey and federal case law, which this proposal would do nothing to change.
As passed by the Senate, SB 195 looks like nothing more than a smoke screen designed to pad the résumé of Sen. Treat who is likely planning a run for Congress. We need to ask Speaker Charles McCall and House sponsor Jon Echols to turn this proposal into a Wilberforce-style bill of abolition.
Senate Bill 614 – A Sign of the Times by Sen. Julie Daniels & Rep. Mark Lepak
Status: Passed Senate 39-8. Assigned to House Judiciary Committee.
Key Language: Abortion facilities must post a sign which reads, “It may be possible to avoid, cease or even to reverse the intended effects of a chemical abortion…” “The sign…shall be printed with lettering that…shall be at least three-fourths (3/4) of an inch…” “The Department [of Health] shall develop and maintain a stable Internet website to provide the information…”
Problem: This pro-choice bill in disguise attempts to advise the mother that chemical abortions are not always effective and that if her chemical abortion is unsuccessful, she will have another opportunity to excise her right to choose whether or not to murder her baby. The new website might sarcastically be called “SecondChanceAbortion.GOV.”
HB 2592 – Government Grants by Rep. Jon Echols & Sen. Greg Treat
Status: Passed House 79-19. Assigned to Senate Appropriations Committee.
Key Language: “There is hereby appropriated to the State Department of Health…the sum of Two Million Dollars…to make Choosing Childbirth Act grants…”
Problems: It implicitly condones state-sanctioned murder. It expends public funds to disseminate information about abortion, which can easily be found on many free websites as well as at the free pregnancy clinics all over the state, rather than in direct defense of innocent preborn humans, which would be the proper function of state government.