OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — An Oklahoma bill that would abolish abortion in the state has been stalled from being heard by Republican Senate leadership.
“Are you really pro-life if you can actually come out and oppose this bill for no reason?” Sen. Joe Silk, R-Broken Bow, asked his colleagues on the Senate floor on Tuesday. “Don’t say you’re pro-life and you believe life begins at conception if you are willing to allow 6,000 lives being murdered in Oklahoma every year.”
“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.
S.B. 1118 was to have been heard in the Senate Tuesday following its recent passage out of the Health and Human Services Committee, but was stalled by Republican leadership.
“It’s still being stopped, which is very very frustrating,” Silk said. “Senate leadership has held the bill up and they’re saying, ‘We don’t know if we’re going to give it a hearing or not.'”
He said that some of his colleagues have opined that the move is too “extreme.”
“I’ve had other senators come up and say this goes too far, and I say, ‘Do you think life begins at conception?’ and they say, ‘Absolutely.’ So, if you believe life begins at conception then it’s not too far,” Silk outlined.
Thursday is the deadline for the hearing, and Christians in the state are encouraging others to urge their Senators to allow the bill to be heard.
“I think it’s a Christian obligation to seek out mercy for the least of us,” John Reasnor of Norman told the Ledger-Enquirer.
While S.B. 1118 was stalled on Tuesday, a bill presented by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, that would revoke the medical license of any physician who performs an abortion was advanced in the Senate.
“Any physician participating in the performance of an abortion shall be prohibited from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in this state,” S.B. 1552 reads. “No person shall perform or induce an abortion upon a pregnant woman. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than three years in the state penitentiary.”
“I think this is one of the core functions of government,” Dahm told those gathered. “All people have the inherent right to life.”