OKLAHOMA CITY — Lawmakers in Oklahoma have passed a bill that would revoke the medical licenses of abortionists in the state.
As previously reported, Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, introduced S.B. 1152 earlier this year, adding a provision to a section that regulates the way physicians are licensed in the state.
“Any physician participating in the performance of an abortion shall be prohibited from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in this state,” it 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.”
The legislation passed the House on Thursday 59-9, just over a month after it was approved in the Senate 40-7.
“This is a core function of government,” Dahm had said during the hearings. “This is our proper function, to protect life.”
“If we take care of morality, God will take care of the economy,” supporter David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow, also remarked.
But abortion advocacy groups have decried the move as a “new low.”
“Oklahoma politicians have made it their mission year after year to restrict women’s access vital health care services, yet this total ban on abortion is a new low,” Amanda Allen, senior state legislative counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, told Reuters.
The group has threatened to file a legal challenge if it the bill is signed into law.
Paul Blair, pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, remarked in an op-ed for the Edmond Sun that the state should push back if the courts strike down the law as unconstitutional.
“The ultimate fate of abortion laws in Oklahoma won’t hinge on what lawmakers do. It won’t hinge on what the courts do. The future hinges on what our leaders do in response to the courts,” he wrote.
“Many northern states said ‘no’ in a response of moral outrage to the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott decision. Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Alaska have all said ‘no’ to federal marijuana laws,” Blair said, noting that he doesn’t personally agree with the marijuana legalization. “Sometimes the forces of history come together with the right people at the right time to bring justice to people who have been denied it for too long. This could be that time.”
The bill now moves to the desk of Gov. Mary Fallin, who has not yet indicated whether she will sign the measure.