Group gathers in Edmond rallying around bill to abolish abortion

EDMOND, Okla. - It's a push to criminalize abortion in our state.

Senate Bill 13, authored by Sen. Joseph Silk, R-Broken Bow, would abolish abortion in Oklahoma, taking past efforts against abortion a step further by criminalizing it.

In the past, pro-life measures have regulated abortion, but now, this group is seeking to end it.

Senate Bill 13 states "Any abortion procedure that results in the death of an unborn child is subject to the same laws governing homicide, manslaughter,
justifiable homicide, and excusable homicide. Additionally, wrongful damages may be recovered by representatives of the deceased."

"We need to end this holocaust entirely," said Benjamin Bender, a supporter attending the rally.

"If they just pass a personhood bill and abortion's still not illegal, guess what's gonna happen?" Silk said. "They're still killing babies. So, we've got to criminalize it. That's the only way it can happen."

Speakers at the Reclaiming Arts building referenced the current state of abortion in Oklahoma.

"We have 5 free-standing child sacrifice centers," said T. Russell Hunter with Free the States. "A lot of people call them abortion clinics."

All speakers at the rally are focused on one thing - the center of their drive to move this bill forward.

"Over 60 million babies that we've killed, innocent babies, and so the motivation is to stop the shedding of innocent blood," said Silk.

Supporters of the bill emphasize their belief that abortion is murder and should be seen that way by the law. Critics, like Allie Shinn with the ACLU, argue it's not constitutional.

"I just don't think that argument holds water," Shinn said. "Regardless of how you feel about when life begins or when it doesn't the fact remains that in order to be viable a fetus at that stage needs to have a woman's body. A woman gets to choose what she does with her own body."

Proponents believe the fact that the bill is unconstitutional does not matter.

"We see people smoking pot in Washington and Colorado and places like that in defiance of federal law so we just say why can't we defy federal law and criminalize abortion here in Oklahoma?" said John Michener, Director of Oklahomans United for Life.

Shinn says if you want to see fewer abortions you need to get to the root of the problem.

"Let's get sex education into our schools. Let's make sure women will have access to contraception. Let's make sure men have access to contraception. We can all share the goal of fewer unwanted to pregnancies and that way everyone wins - regardless of their stance on abortion."

Silk compares abolishing abortion to abolishing slavery - saying making it illegal was once seen as a radical idea by many as well.

There is another rally scheduled for February 11-13 in Oklahoma City.

To read the full bill, click here.