OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – For the second straight day, abortion laws were on the docket at the State Capitol.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed two major bills on Tuesday that would limit procedures in our state.
The State Senate tackled abortion legislation on Wednesday. Republican senators say Oklahoma could potentially play a part in changing national abortion law. Opponents say these new bills limit access and choice and are ultimately illegal.
“I’m very optimistic about all these bills that have passed. Hopefully, we will save some lives of the unborn,” said Sen. Nathan Dahm
Dahm, a Republican senator from Broken Arrow, introduced three of the five abortion-related bills that passed the Senate floor, basically along party lines, Wednesday morning. One would penalize doctors who would perform an abortion other than to save the life of the mother. Another would make abortion illegal if a fetal heartbeat could be detected, that could happen as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
“The Oklahoma Constitution says all persons have the inherent right to life,” said Dahm.
Two other bills that passed aim to regulate and monitor the use of abortion inducing drugs..
“Whether I agree or not with the use of these drugs, they are dangerous,” said Sen. Julie Daniels of Bartlesville.
Debate was strong from both sides of the isle.
“Oklahomans can be pro-life without violating the privacy, dignity and moral agency of women, but all the bills we’ve seen today violate the privacy, dignity and moral agency of women,” said Sen. Mary Boren of Norman.
Senate Republicans say with the conservative shift in the U.S. Supreme Court, some of these bills are meant to challenge national abortion laws.
“It’s not just Oklahoma fighting for the lives of the unborn, there are plenty of other states introducing similar legislation, but ultimately we see some of these bill before the Supreme Court, I believe,” said Dahm.
But opponents say all these laws do is waste legislators’ time and taxpayer money.
“These bills are unconstitutional and will be challenged as well as struck down,” said Tamya Cox Toure of ACLU Oklahoma.