OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Abortion has been a big issue at the Oklahoma State Capitol for years. This year it might be even bigger as the US Supreme Court prepares to rule on a Mississippi case that could give states the right to make their own abortion laws.
Tuesday was the first full day at work at the State Capitol for legislators as part of the 2022 session.
But it was also a big day in the abortion battle as people from all over the country flocked to the Capitol to tell state lawmakers that being Pro-Life just isn’t enough.
“Abolish Abortion!” chanted the activists.
Hundreds showing up inside the rotunda and out on the south steps of the State Capitol on Tuesday, and talking with legislators calling for the outright banning of abortion in Oklahoma.
“Abortion is murder. We cannot compromise to murder,” said Nadia Sims.
Sims’ family coming in from Texas in support of Senate Bill 1372, a measure that would end all abortions.
Multiple anti-abortion laws were passed last session, most are currently being held up in the State Supreme Court, but Abolish Abortion supporters say Oklahoma laws need to go a step further.
“Pro-life is not enough. The pro-life movement is running on saying like, ’We’ve won so many victories. We’ve passed this dismemberment bill, this heart beat bill.’ Ultimately those aren’t treating abortion like murder,” said Maddie York, an Abolish Abortion organizer from Free the States.
Organizers point to Oklahoma’s marijuana legislation technically being against federal law. They say the same can be done for abortion…but a group of Pro-Choice, anti-protestors on hand, disagrees.
“Abolishing abortion does not lessen the abortions that happen, it just eliminates the chances of safe abortion,” said Laura Ogle of Pro-Choice OKC.
Pro-Choice advocates say those wanting an abortion will just go out of state – something that is reportedly already happening in Oklahoma and Kansas after Texas greatly restricted abortions 5 months ago.
“Our call volumes at the clinics in Wichita and in Oklahoma City has more than doubled. We are seeing a majority of out of state patients at each clinic,” said Zachary Gingrich-Gaylord of Trust Women Clinics.
The Abolish Abortion bill is one of more than a dozen anti-abortion bills available to be heard this session. Republican legislators preparing in case the Federal Supreme Court overturns Roe vs Wade.
“If Roe falls because of the SCOTUS decision, this will get worse. People will continue to be forced to travel hundreds of miles outside of their own communities thru a pandemic that is still ongoing,” said Gingrich-Gaylord.
Senate Health and Human Services Committee leaders declined our interview requests today.
Abolish Abortion bills have been filed each year at the Oklahoma State Capitol since 2016. None have made to the either the House or Senate floor for debate.