OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Senate approved several pieces of anti-abortion legislation on Thursday.
The anti-abortion bills and resolutions listed below were approved Thursday. Information on the bills were provided by the State Senate. Perspectives on the bills and resolutions from Planned Parenthood Great Plains are also included.
Senate Bill 1503 by Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville, creates the Oklahoma Heartbeat Act, allowing private civil action to be brought against anyone performing an abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected, except in a medical emergency, according to a State Senate news release.
Planned Parenthood Great Plains refers to SB 1503 as a six-week abortion ban similar to Texas abortion law that would go into effect immediately after signed into law and eliminate virtually all abortion services in the state.
Senate Bill 1552 by Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, further empowers Oklahoma State Department of Health to directly contract with private organizations that provide services related to the Choosing Childbirth Act, according to the State Senate.
Planned Parenthood says SB 1552 would fund “fake clinics that lie to people seeking abortion.”
Senate Bill 1553 by Treat modifies existing state statutes and moves the prohibition on abortion in Oklahoma to 30-days from conception, according to the State Senate.
Planned Parenthood says SB 1553 bans abortion 30 days after a person’s last menstrual period, before many people learn they are pregnant.
Senate Bill 1555 by Treat amends “trigger language” from 2021’s SB 918 that said Oklahoma may resume enforcement of the existing prohibition of abortion in state statute or enact similar statutes prohibiting an abortion throughout pregnancy if the central holdings of Roe v. Wade or Planned Parenthood v. Casey be overturned, or should the U.S. Constitution be amended to allow states to set abortion policy, according to the State Senate.
Planned Parenthood says SB 1555 modifies the state’s trigger ban that would allow pre-Roe v. Wade statutes to go into effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, even in part, and provides that the state could enforce a total abortion ban.
Senate Joint Resolution 17 by Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, would send to a vote by Oklahomans a constitutional amendment stating that life begins at conception and the unborn enjoy the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, according to the State Senate.
Planned Parenthood says SJR 17 would confer full personhood – and its intrinsic rights – from conception.
Senate Joint Resolution 37 by Treat would send to a vote by Oklahomans a constitutional amendment to prohibit the Oklahoma Supreme Court from reading into the Oklahoma Constitution a guaranteed right to an abortion.
Planned Parenthood says SJR 37 would eliminate abortion rights in Oklahoma.
“Since the grave error of Roe, states like Oklahoma have worked diligently to enact measures to protect the lives of the unborn and the bills passed today by the Senate further that work and will help sustain a culture in our state that values and protects life at all stages,” Treat said. “It is my sincere hope federal legal precedents allowing abortion are overturned, restoring Oklahoma’s ability to prohibit abortion once again. Until that welcomed day, I will continue to lead the Oklahoma Senate to enact measures to save the lives of the unborn.”
Several abortion advocates say such bills are part of an ongoing effort to eliminate abortion access.
“These bills pose an imminent and grave threat to abortion access in Oklahoma and across the region. For months, scores of Texans have sought abortion care in Oklahoma, in addition to pregnant people in Oklahoma. Abortion rights activists have been warning of this nightmare for months: these abortion restrictions will have a domino effect across the country, and have the potential to push abortion access out of reach for an entire region.”ELISABETH SMITH, DIRECTOR OF STATE POLICY AND ADVOCACY FOR THE CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
“For six months, Oklahoma has been the central point of refuge for countless people forced to flee Texas for care. We have seen firsthand the devastation caused when lawmakers put politics before patients’ rights. We’ve seen it in the faces of people who have traveled hundreds of miles, taken unpaid time off work, scrambled to find childcare, and often arrived alone, fearing that sharing with family and friends could put those individuals at risk under the law. Sadly, today the Senate moved one step closer to putting Oklahomans in the very same position. While self-proclaimed freedom-fighting politicians strip Oklahomans of the rights their neighbors enjoy, Planned Parenthood health centers will keep their doors open and provide care to all.”EMILY WALES, INTERIM PRESIDENT AND CEO OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD GREAT PLAINS