Bombshell news dropped on 2 May 2022 that the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is poised to officially reverse Roe v. Wade, the pro-abortion jurisprudence which has sheltered the practice of murder by abortion in the entire territory of the United States for forty-nine years. What does this news mean for Oklahoma policy and politics? In a word…IF!
According to a leaked draft of the majority SCOTUS opinion, “The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.” SCOTUS even directs lower courts not to interfere, explaining that laws which criminalize abortion are “entitled to a ‘strong presumption of validity’” and “must be sustained…” “These legitimate [State] interests include respect for and preservation of prenatal life at all stages of development….”
Keep in mind that we at OUL have been expounding the moral and legal duty to ignore SCOTUS anyway, but now, if the leaked draft is legitimate, even the perceived legal obstruction of SCOTUS has been removed for States that wish to abolish abortion. Knowing that SCOTUS and the courts will no longer interfere, state governors and legislatures now have no excuse not to immediately abolish abortion in their States.
On 12 April 2022, Governor Stitt said, “We want to make all abortions illegal in the State of Oklahoma.” Governor Stitt now has the opportunity to back up that statement and secure his legacy in the history books as the first governor in the United States to completely abolish abortion in his State. Imagine the chance to be remembered for centuries to come as an abolitionist hero.
The Oklahoma Legislature will need leadership and direction from the Governor to completely abolish abortion, and here is why. Many Republican legislators, including leadership, are already claiming victory, but tellingly, a victory that could not even be theoretically realized under present circumstances until some indeterminate date later this summer, well after election season and after four more months of child sacrifice. That is not victory; that is playing politics with dead babies. Also, consider that in recent weeks the Oklahoma Legislature has passed conflicting abortion regulations. One partial ban begins at fetal heartbeat, another at conception, and yet another at thirty days. One bill criminalizes only doctors while permitting other parties to commit murder with blanket immunity. And another bill creates gaping loopholes for circumstances like rape. All of these contradictions must be corrected. It is not good enough to criminalize only doctors in certain circumstances. Recent trends indicate that the practice of abortion is transitioning to do-it-yourself at home with chemicals, which current bills leave unaddressed and permissible. Therefore, to truly claim victory, we must immediately abolish all abortion, and to do that will take leadership from the top.
If Governor Stitt truly wants “to make all abortions illegal in the State of Oklahoma,” then he must put the Legislature into special session and direct them to immediately pass either Senate Bill 1372 or House Bill 4111, versions of the “Equal Protection and Equal Justice Act,” and immediately put them into effect. The courts will not stand in his way.
If the Senate Pro Tempore and the House Speaker are truly “pro-life,” then they must immediately pass corrective legislation to provide equal protection and equal justice. The courts will not stand in their way.
YOUR CALL TO ACTION:
1) Contact Governor Kevin Stitt (405-521-2342, oklahoma.gov/governor/contact). Ask him to put the Legislature into special session and direct them to immediately abolish all abortion.
2) Contact Speaker Charles McCall (405-557-7412, firstname.lastname@example.org). Ask him to personally bring HB 4111 to the House floor.
3) Contact Pro Tempore Greg Treat (405-521-5632, Greg.Treat@oksenate.gov). Ask him to personally bring SB 1372 to the Senate Floor.
What IF the leak is a psychological operation, and SCOTUS actually maintains or complicates the status quo? In that case, Governor Stitt and the Legislature must break out of their SCOTUS-centered paradigm and still proceed to immediately abolish abortion. The possibility of a Roe reversal is exciting and does represent a form of victory, but we can only claim true victory IF and when we truly establish equal protection and equal justice for our preborn neighbors in Oklahoma.