OKLAHOMA CITY - With signs in hand, hundreds packed the first floor of the capitol building Tuesday morning in support of a bill abolishing abortion in Oklahoma.
"We’re not out to harm anybody or make anybody feel bad, just trying to protect the lives of innocent children," said rally-goer David Carney. "They don’t have anybody to protect them. Their mothers should be the ones protecting them, and they’re not. They’re killing them."
Senate Bill 13, authored by Sen. Joseph Silk, R-Broken Bow, would classify abortion as homicide under Oklahoma law.
In past interviews, Silk has described the bill as "protecting the unborn."
One of the speakers at the rally Tuesday was former House Representative and gubernatorial candidate Dan Fisher, who currently serves as co-pastor of the Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond.
"On a graduated scale of wickedness, abortion is the greatest evil man can perpetrate on another human being. For not only does it involve the killing of a human being, it involves the killing of the most innocent of human beings among us," Fisher said. "Today, we are here not to talk about taxes, not to talk about education, not to talk about the economy. Even though those are important, we are here to discuss the most important issue in life, and that is life itself."
One rally-goer showed her stance on abortion by praying on the seal of Oklahoma after the rally was over.
"Yesterday in prayer, I had a vision of kneeling on the seal, praying on the seal, singing on the seal and asking God to forgive us first of all for shedding innocent blood, second of all to intervene, to help us to realize what we’re doing," said Norman resident Janine Slagtand. "I want to see abortion abolished not only in the Oklahoma, but in the United States and in the rest of the world."
Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City told News 4 on Tuesday that the legislation has been brought up at least two or three times in the past four years.
"Any time that we would use on this bill in the House or on the Senate would be time that we’re not using to do things to benefit our citizens right now," Rep. Dunnington said.
According to Dunnington, the bill would "usurp" federal law.
"The U.S. Supreme Court has continued to maintain its position. As a matter of fact, just last week, the Supreme Court struck down an unconstitutional law in the state of Louisiana, so U.S. Supreme Court has shown time and time again — that they uphold Roe v. Wade and so, for us, it is an unnecessary step for us," he said. "If we want to actually change the rate of abortion in Oklahoma, then we need to make sure we’re teaching sex education in high schools and make sure that we’re providing access to contraceptives. We know for a fact that those two things will lower the rate of abortion by 50 percent in Oklahoma."
Silk said the bill has been assigned to the Senate's Health and Human Services committee.
President Pro Tempore Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City released the following statement on Senate Bill 13:
“I had several opportunities to visit with individuals about Senate Bill 13 and the goal of ending abortion in Oklahoma. I share the goal of ending abortion, however I am concerned about flaws in their strategy. Missteps not only jeopardize existing hard-fought protections in law but potentially lead to an increased loss of innocent life through abortions.”