Oklahoma Republican Governor Kevin Stitt has signed into law a near-total abortion ban in the state. The bill makes performing an abortion, except when endangerment to the mother’s life exists, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $100,000.
The bill is succinct:
SECTION 1. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 1-731.4 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:
A. As used in this section:
1. The terms “abortion” and “unborn child” shall have the same meaning as provided by Section 1-730 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes; and
2. “Medical emergency” means a condition which cannot be remedied by delivery of the child in which an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness or physical injury including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.
B. 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person shall not purposely perform or attempt to perform an abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency.
2. A person convicted of performing or attempting to perform an abortion shall be guilty of a felony punishable by a fine not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00), or by confinement in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term not to exceed ten (10) years, or by such fine and imprisonment.
3. This section does not:
a. authorize the charging or conviction of a woman with any criminal offense in the death of her own unborn child, or
b. prohibit the sale, use, prescription or administration of a contraceptive measure, drug or chemical if the contraceptive measure, drug or chemical is administered before the time when a pregnancy could be determined through conventional medical testing and if the contraceptive measure, drug or chemical is sold, used, prescribed or administered in accordance with manufacturer instructions.
4. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section if a licensed physician provides medical treatment to a pregnant woman which results in the accidental or unintentional injury or death to the unborn child.
As can be imagined, the Biden Administration is horrified at the notion of potential future Republicans not being snuffed out before reaching voting age.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki criticized the state law, calling it an “unconstitutional attack on women’s rights” and among the most extreme anti-abortion bills in the country.
“Make no mistake: The actions today in Oklahoma are a part of disturbing national trend attacking women’s rights and the Biden Administration will continue to stand with women in Oklahoma and across the country in the fight to defend their freedom to make their own choices about their futures,” she said in a statement.
The bill sharply refocuses the abortion debate. With a possible overturn of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court, returning abortion to a state-level issue, conservative states are now increasingly emboldened to pass laws either severely restricting abortion or outlawing it altogether.
The abortion argument is basic. Does life begin at conception or birth? If it is at conception, an unborn child is entitled to the same rights as every other person. In America, said rights are declared to be God-given in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution. If life begins at birth, or whichever point post-birth is presently en vogue, an unborn child is an appendage in a woman’s body free to be discarded with no more consideration given it than the regard extended to a toenail. The latter mindset is unfathomable to a Christian mindful of Scripture (“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”). Multiple other Biblical references also make it clear God knew us before our conception. If an unborn child’s life is not sacred, how can any life be considered worthy of the designation?
It is also incumbent for all who believe in life’s sanctity to transform their words into action. Protesting in front of the local Planned Parenthood office is well and good, but it is not a solution. Direct assistance for groups providing counseling and other support to women facing unwanted pregnancies is mandatory. Actively supporting those able and willing to adopt is equally urgent. We are conservatives. We walk the talk.
Court opposition to the Oklahoma law is underway. Here’s praying it miserably fails.
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