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Ban Abortion by Banning Abortionists? Oklahoma Bill Takes New Approach to Protecting Life

Supreme Court abortion
Protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. |

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin will decide this week whether to sign into law a bill that would strip abortion-providing doctors of their medical licenses, effectively ban the practice in the state.

LifeNews reported that the bill passed the Oklahoma House on Thursday of last week, after it had already passed the state Senate in March. The legislation states that doctors who perform abortions, with the exception being cases to save the mother's life, will be charged with "unprofessional conduct" and will be barred from renewing their medical licenses.

Fallin, who is a Republican but has not yet indicated whether she will sign the law or not, is facing big pressure from abortion-providing groups, such as Planned Parenthood. Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm, who sponsored the bill, said, however, that its purpose is to protect the lives of unborn babies.

State Rep. David Brumbaugh, who co-sponsored the measure in the House, said:

"Do we make laws because they're moral and right, or do we make them based on what an unelected judicial occupant might question or want to overturn? The last time I looked, that's why I thought we had a separation of power."

He added: "It's not about policy. It's not about politics. It's about principle."

Amanda Allen, senior state legislative counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, argued that the law would violate the Constitution, as it would prohibit a practice allowed by law.

"Oklahoma politicians have made it their mission year after year to restrict women's access to vital health care services, yet this total ban on abortion is a new low," Allen said, according to Reuters.

LifeNews believes that a lawsuit against the proposed law could indeed be successful, as the Supreme Court 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade allows women to opt for abortion procedures.

"Given the current U.S. Supreme Court justices' records, the Oklahoma legislation likely would be struck down and Roe upheld. After the recent death of pro-life Justice Antonin Scalia, the high court is more likely than ever to strike down pro-life laws," the report noted, stating that as many as 58 million babies have been aborted in the past 43 years in America.

Brumbaugh argued, however, that regardless of any prolonged legal battles, the issue is important enough to be put on the table for debate.

"If we take care of morality, God will take care of the economy," he added.

SB 1552, as the legislation is labeled, states that if the bill is challenged in court, then it will be up to the attorney general's office to determine the amount of state or local funds that will be used to defend the challenge.

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