TULSA, Okla. — The leader of a pro-life identifying organization in Oklahoma says that he will not support an effort to abolish abortion in the state as he believes that the timing for such a move is not right—that America must first wait for the proper appointments and climate in the U.S. Supreme Court.
“No person shall perform or induce or attempt to perform or induce an abortion after conception,” it reads. “A person commits murder in the first degree when that person performs an abortion as defined by Section 1-745.5 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes.”
The bill defines abortion as “the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug or any other substance or device to intentionally kill an unborn human being” and provides the unborn with protection from the moment of conception.
The effort is said to be the result of a petition signed by over 30,000 Oklahoma residents, calling for lawmakers to immediately present legislation that would completely end abortion in the state.
However, Anthony Lauinger, state chairman of Oklahomans for Life and vice president of National Right to Life, says that he does not support the passage of the bill. On Monday, he replied to a request from Oklahoma Sen. Brian Crain to outline the group’s position on the proposal. Lauinger said that his main concern is that the law would result in the repeal of existing abortion regulations.
“We believe that the both the Heartbeat Informed Consent Act and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act have saved the lives of unborn children in the past and will continue to do so in the future,” he said.
Lauinger, a Roman Catholic, further explained to Christian News Network that he is concerned that if S.B. 1118 is made law, it would be struck down in the courts and then both the Heartbeat Act and the Pain-Capable Act would not be available to fall back on. He opined that he is of the persuasion that passing S.B. 1118 would only serve as a statement, but would not have long-term results.
“We totally agree with the statement that Bill 1118 makes. There’s nothing worse than intentionally destroying an innocent human life,” Launinger said. “The concern is that if our courts do what their track record indicates they would do, and if they struck down Senate Bill 1118 as unconstitutional, we the people of Oklahoma would have made a statement that we regard the killing of an unborn child as the ultimate offense, but it wouldn’t be in effect because it would be enjoined by the courts.”
“And therefore,” he said, “it would not actually prevent any abortions or save any lives.”
Launinger stated that he believes what needs to happen first is for Americans to elect a pro-life president, and that the president appoint pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
“We need five people on the U.S. Supreme Court to support a bill like that,” Launinger said, adding, “The timing has to be right to do it.”
When asked if he believes that abortion is murder, Launinger said that “[m]urder is a technical legal term,” and that he would not use the word, but rather “killing” or “homicide.”
“Murder depends,” he said. “A guy can shoot somebody on the street and it isn’t necessarily murder. It’s homicide, but what degree of homicide? … It depends on the circumstances.”
“I don’t use the word ‘murder,'” Launinger replied when asked if God would consider abortion as being murder. “I would say the intentional killing of a human being would be the ultimate offense against God and man.”
T. Russell Hunter of the Abolitionist Society of Norman, which had petitioned for a bill ending abortion in Oklahoma, said in a video on Monday that he understands the law would be challenged in the courts, but believes that the fight to save lives is worth it.
“Yes, we’ll have to challenge the courts. The courts are wrong. They’ve perverted the Constitution. They’ve spit in the face of God,” he said, adding with thankfulness, “There are some men here who want to do justice and who want to do what’s right.”