OKLAHOMA CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - A proposed piece of legislation is seeking to define abortion as first-degree murder in the state of Oklahoma.
Introduced last week by Republican state senator Joe Silk of Broken Bow, the legislation is the latest in a series of pro-life bills from Oklahoma seeking to push back against the abortion culture.
The draft law, referred to as SB 1118, declares that "[n]o person shall perform or induce or attempt to perform or induce an abortion after conception." It continues to state that a person "commits murder in the first degree when that person performs an abortion."
According to the proposed law, abortion is "the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug or any other substance or device to intentionally kill an unborn human being," more specifically defined as "the offspring of human beings from the moment of conception until either live birth or death."
The push for such legislation comes as the result of a petition supported by more than 30,000 Oklahoma citizens urging state lawmakers to bring an absolute end to the practice in the state. The appeal was promulgated by the Abolitionist Society of Norman, a pro-life movement seeking to "end one of the greatest human miseries and moral evils to have ever become entrenched in [the] world."
The petition reads:
[W]e hereby respectfully demand that our state government stop protecting the murder of children by abortion within its jurisdiction and establish justice for all pre-born human beings in our state. ... We demand that our legislators stop passing laws to regulate abortion and instead outlaw all abortion as murder. We demand that these changes be made now — not five, 10 or 15 years down the road. In short, we the people of the state of Oklahoma demand the total and immediate abolition of human abortion as the legal, constitutional and moral duty of our elected and appointed officials.
In a press release, the group stated that SB 1118 "unabashedly defies the Supreme Court's perversion and denunciation of the constitutional right to life, and seeks to establish justice for those being deprived of life without due process of law."
The new legislation follows in the footsteps of a bill proposed in February by Republican state senator Nathan Dahm of Broken Arrow. Known officially as SB 1552, Dahm's bill seeks to prohibit "[a]ny physician participating in the performance of an abortion" from "obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine" in the state of Oklahoma. Those found guilty of breaking the law will serve a maximum of three years in the state penitentiary.
A hearing of both bills before the Oklahoma senate is scheduled for today.
The two proposed laws are the latest pieces of pro-life legislation to come out of Oklahoma after a house bill aimed at requiring students to be taught that life begins at conception was approved by the Oklahoma House Appropriations and Budget committee late last month. Called HB 2797, or the Humanity of the Unborn Child Act, the bill mandates that the state department of education "establish, operate and maintain a public information program to educate the public about the humanity of a child in utero."
Additional measures include requirements that the education department maintain a list of both private and public organizations that "assist women through pregnancy and childhood" and develop a "public information campaign utilizing PSAs and other media" to inform expectant mothers of said organizations.
According to author Ann Coody, a Republican representative from Lawton, Oklahoma, the purpose of the act is "to show that he's a real human being. ... [T]hat child is still a person, and we're killing a person."
Oklahoma is the first state in the union to propose such legislation.