OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State Rep. Brad Boles, R-Marlow, used the term “colored” to refer to babies during a heated debate on abortion bills in the Oklahoma House of Representatives Tuesday.
“As a black woman who is old enough to be his mother, I am shocked that someone is using the term colored in 2021,” said the chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party Alicia Andrews.
The House was in session for quite a while Tuesday, going well into the night after resuming session at around 2 p.m. One of the abortion bills discussed was HB 2441. Also dubbed the heartbeat bill, it would make abortions illegal if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. That can happen as early as five to six weeks after conception. Another bill would suspend the license of any doctor who performs an abortion, except in cases of theft or death.
During discussion on these bills, at one point, Boles made a statement on the floor that a certain percentage of babies aborted were “colored.”
“Colored is not part of your normal lexicon. If it’s not part of your normal lexicon, it doesn’t just come out. So, it is part of who he is,” Andrews said. “If that’s who we have representing us in Lincoln, I’m a little bit nervous and scared.”
Andrews and the Oklahoma Democratic Party demanded an apology and that’s exactly what happened around 5:30 p.m. on the house floor.
“Through the slip of the tongue, I said a word that was not what it was intended to be so I apologize for any of the members of the House or that listened online that I may have offended,” Boles said in his apology.
Andrews and the Oklahoma Democrats said they are still trying to figure out why Boles made the comment.
“It’s offensive when you hear it in the grocery store, it’s offensive when you hear it just out in the world,” Andrews said. “The comment was made on the house floor, the comment was made where laws are made, that the comment was made by a current sitting legislator.”
There was lots of heated debate even after the abortion topic. House representatives were getting so rowdy at one point that two floor members mentioned taking things outside and settling them like men.