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OKLAHOMA CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - One signature from Oklahoma's governor could revoke the medical licenses of all abortionists in the state.
Senate Bill 1552 (SB 1552) was passed by the Oklahoma senate in March and approved last week by the House of Representatives. Republican governor Mary Fallin has not yet indicated she will sign the bill.
A summary of SB 1552 says that "the performance of an abortion by a physician will constitute unprofessional conduct and prohibits the physician from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine." However, it includes the exception allowing an abortion procedure "to preserve the life or health of the mother." Doctors would not be penalized for removing the remains if a woman suffers a miscarriage.
The bill's author, Sen. Nathan Dahm, commented, "This is our proper function, to protect life."
Critics are giving various reasons why they think the bill is a bad idea. The Oklahoma State Medical Association is reacting, stating that while it "does not take a position on the legality of abortion, as long as it remains a legal act, we will oppose legislation that is designed to intimidate physicians or override their medical judgment."
Abortion advocates are promising they will challenge the law. Others are saying the bill will result in an expensive and protracted lawsuit the state can't afford. Representative David Brumbaugh, co-sponsor of the bill, is responding, "Do we make laws because they're moral and right, or do we make them based on what an unelected judicial occupant might question or want to overturn? The last time I looked, that's why I thought we had a separation of power."
Oklahoma has a strict 72-hour waiting period for abortions, and minors are required to have a notarized permission from a parent or legal guardian in order to acquire an abortion. In 2015, Gov. Fallin signed a law banning abortions after 20 weeks and another declaring elective abortions can't be covered by insurance.
Responding to the financial challenges that may arise from enacting SB 1552, Rep. Brumbaugh commented, "If we take care of the morality, God will take care of the economy."