Oklahoma senator proposes bill that would prosecute women who get abortions

 February 9, 2024

An Oklahoma state senator has proposed a bill that would treat abortion like murder, exposing women who get abortions to criminal prosecution.

The controversial legislation from Baptist pastor Dusty Deevers (R-Elgin) is part of the abortion abolition movement, which seeks the total elimination of abortion.

Under current laws adopted in Oklahoma after the fall of Roe v. Wade, abortion is illegal except to save the life of the mother.

Bill would prosecute abortion

The existing laws in Oklahoma have had a chilling effect, with abortions dropping from over 4,000 in 2021 to roughly 900 in 2022.

Pro-life advocates have rarely suggested prosecuting abortion. But abortion abolitionists, like Deevers, argue abortion is murder and should be treated as such under the law.

“If a mother is pursuing with malice aforethought to kill her pre-born child, then that should be illegal. It’s murder. However she chooses to do it, whether it’s through abortion pills or a coat hanger or hiring a hit man to kill her child," he told Oklahoma News 4.

The Abolition of Abortion Act says that unborn babies are human beings, "created in the image of God," with the same rights as persons who are born alive.

The bill makes it a crime to get an abortion, with very few exceptions, such as saving the mother or unborn child's life.

The politics of abortion

Some Republicans will likely complain that proposals to prosecute abortion will assist Democrats in their efforts to convince voters that conservatives are extreme.

Democrats have aggressively championed access to abortion since the Supreme Court issued the Dobbs decision that ended recognition of a federal right to abortion.

A backlash against Dobbs has been cited as a factor in the GOP's poor performance in recent elections, including the failure of referenda to limit abortion in some red states.

Republicans have been left divided, with some calling for better messaging discipline and others, including President Trump, counseling moderation.

However such political considerations are not likely to weigh on the minds of those who see the issue as a matter of principle.

“It’s very simple," Deevers said.

"It seeks to take the exception for prenatal homicide, which is abortion, out of the homicide code and make it give equal protection under the law to all lives from the moment of conception to natural death,” Deevers added.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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