With the Oklahoma Legislature once again in full swing, we have received numerous inquiries from citizens and sitting legislators about the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act (AAOA). Inaccurate information has popped up from traditional news sources and on social media. Here is a brief recap of the AAOA along with answers to frequently asked questions. The AAOA would enact four statutory changes. It would:
- Remove abortion’s exemption from Wrongful Death liability,
- Include abortion in the homicide definition: “Homicide shall include, but not be limited to, acts which cause the death of an unborn child committed during an abortion,”
- Define unborn child as “the unborn offspring of human beings from the moment of fertilization, through pregnancy, and until live birth, including the developmental stages of human conceptus, zygote, morula, blastocyst, embryo, and fetus,” and
- Repeal every law that legalizes abortion.
The AAOA is the most simple, straightforward, and just bill to abolish abortion that there can be. Any bill that addressed only one of these points would set up unresolvable contradictions within state statutes.
What about the life of the mother? Some mistakenly believe that if we abolish abortion, then a doctor could not perform an emergency, life-saving abortion. Of course this is false. The bill does not affect standard medical triage, which is the practice of saving as many lives as possible in emergency situations. In fact, the bill directly protects doctors: “A physician or other health care professional shall be immune from criminal or civil liability for the death of a fetus resulting from an emergency, including but not limited to an ectopic or tubal pregnancy, if the physician or professional exhausts all possible treatments to preserve the life of the fetus.” For more, see I’m Pro-Life, But What About?
What about women who are victims? Some are concerned that the AAOA might victimize victims. The bill would no more victimize victims than our law against bank robbery victimizes a kidnapped and coerced getaway driver. By classifying abortion as homicide, the bill allows the criminal justice system to spring into action and follow its normal path to resolution. The bill would allow district attorneys to gather evidence and decide whom to charge and with what to charge them, since not all homicides are the same. Charges would be brought against only those who could be proven culpable. No District Attorney would charge a coerced young girl who is already a victim. However, he will go after women, grandparents, boyfriends, and pimps who premeditated to commit murder by abortion. Because enforcement of the AAOA will abolish abortion in Oklahoma, cases will be few and far between, but in those rare cases that arise, a jury of our Oklahoma peers will judge the innocence or guilt of the defendants.
Why is the AAOA so long and complicated? Most pieces of proposed legislation look complicated at first to those unaccustomed to the format. Whenever a bill proposes a change to existing statute, the state constitution requires the existing statute to be restated in the proposal, so that the change can be reviewed in context. For example, several pages of the AAOA are nothing more than a restating of the existing Wrongful Death statute. Furthermore, there are more than one hundred pages of existing statutes which legalize abortion; the AAOA must list and repeal them all.
Won’t the courts just throw out the AAOA? Yes. The Oklahoma Supreme Court would likely issue an injunction against the bill. Therefore, the AAOA would go into effect and save thousands of lives only if the governor were determined to enforce the law in the face of the court’s immoral and unconstitutional opinion. This could be accomplished through executive orders to the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision, Oklahoma State Department of Health, and the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, all of whom answer to the governor. The chief executive must be willing to uphold the rule of law, the Constitution, regardless of judges who ignore it and shred it. Judges who continue to opine based on Roe and its corollaries are the ones breaking the law. It is up to the executive branch to check their lawlessness. In the words of Dr. Alan Keyes: “All law enforcement officers…are sworn to uphold the Constitution, according to its terms. They are therefore duty bound to hold the [Roe] decision in contempt, and move without delay to end the wholesale atrocity it entails.” Ultimately, executive action is absolutely necessary to abolish abortion. This is the battle that no chief executive has been willing to fight as of yet. But the duty of the legislature is to present the governor with that opportunity, and the duty of the people is to encourage him and support him in the fight for justice. For more, see A Plan for the Governor to Abolish Abortion.
Encourage Governor Stitt to Publicly Demand the AAOA and Commit to Enforcement:
- call Gov. Stitt at (405) 521-2342
- email Gov. Stitt
- send a letter to: Governor Stitt, Oklahoma State Capitol, 2300 N Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105