In a controversial move, Oklahoma State Senator Dusty Deevers (R-Elgin) introduced a bill that would charge women with murder for obtaining an abortion, regardless of circumstances. The proposed legislation, known as the Abolition of Abortion Act, aims to remove exceptions for abortion from the state’s homicide code, granting equal protection to all lives from conception to natural death.
Senator Deevers explained the rationale behind the bill, stating, “If a mother is pursuing malice aforethought to kill her pre-born child, then that should be illegal. It’s murder.” He emphasized the need to protect every life and treat any deliberate termination of pregnancy as murder, regardless of the method used.
Under the proposed legislation, women would face murder charges for seeking abortions, even in cases of rape, incest, or when using abortion pills. However, exceptions are included for situations where the woman’s life is at risk or if she is coerced into undergoing the procedure. Additionally, women who experience spontaneous miscarriages would not be subject to charges.
The bill has garnered support from State Senator Warren Hamilton (R-McCurtain) and anti-abortion activists, who rallied at the state Capitol to advocate for its adoption. However, opponents argue that the bill is excessively restrictive and likely unconstitutional.
Tamaya Cox-Toure, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, expressed concern over the bill’s implications, stating, “We know this is one of the most extreme, most dangerous anti-abortion bills we’ve seen.” She highlighted the impact such legislation could have on healthcare access and pregnancy outcomes.
State Representative Mickey Dollens (D-OKC) criticized the bill, suggesting that it may pass in an election year due to political motives. Dollens advocated for a referendum approach, allowing Oklahomans to vote on the measure rather than leaving it to lawmakers.
“We don’t want controlling politicians at the Capitol telling us what we can and can’t do with our bodies,” Dollens asserted.
As the debate surrounding the bill intensifies, the ACLU of Oklahoma vows to monitor its progress closely, emphasizing the potential ramifications for reproductive rights in the state. With conflicting viewpoints and political tensions running high, the fate of the Abolition of Abortion Act remains uncertain amidst a polarized legislative landscape.
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