Yesterday, Oklahoma became the first state in the nation, effective immediately, to enact pro-life legislation protecting preborn human life from the moment of conception. The law went into effect upon the signature of Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt.
As the entire country awaits a decision from the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, pro-life states all over the nation have been moving with speed to pass legislation that will protect babies in the womb should Roe v. Wade be overturned.
HB 4327 protects preborn human life from fertilization through birth, including exceptions for preserving the life of the mother, incest, and rape.
The bill is modeled after the Texas Heartbeat law. It includes provisions that give private citizens the ability to enforce the measure by filing a lawsuit against abortionists who illegally perform abortions.
Private enforcement provisions have proven effective in advancing the pro-life cause because abortionists can’t proactively stop the law from going into effect since no state actor is enforcing the law. Abortionists must instead wait to be sued by private citizens for performing illegal abortions, and the potential liability for performing abortions has effectively shut clinics down.
The law is also similar to the Texas legislation because it includes penalties for those who knowingly aid or abet others in receiving an abortion.
Best of all, this measure goes into effect immediately. This very day mothers and babies in Oklahoma will be saved from the tragedy of abortion.
The bill was approved in the Oklahoma House by a vote of 73-16 on May 19, 2022. The state senate passed the measure 35-10 in April.
The four existing abortion clinics in Oklahoma have been effectively shut down since the Oklahoma heartbeat law went into effect earlier this month.
For an already contentious moral issue, abortion conflict has risen markedly since the draft Supreme Court majority opinion was leaked, indicating a potential reversal of Roe.
Abortion advocates, frustrated by the pro-life measures being moved in Oklahoma, have vowed to respond.
One pro-abortion Oklahoma legislator proposed introducing a bill to sterilize boys when they reach puberty as a reciprocal response to protecting life in the womb.
The ACLU of Oklahoma and other abortion advocates have filed a lawsuit challenging the Oklahoma Heartbeat bill passed earlier this month and say they will add this measure to that lawsuit.
In a possible post-Roe world, 26 states have been identified as likely to protect preborn human life. No surprise that Oklahoma is one of those states.
However, 24 states remain friendly to abortion. To that end, the pro-life movement must continue to labor to change hearts and minds on the issue of abortion, help mothers navigate unexpected pregnancies, and stay committed to reigniting a culture of life in our communities.
Focus on the Family has always been unashamedly pro-life. It’s one of our foundational principles. To promote life and encourage the pro-life community to seize this pro-life moment, we are hosting a special event called SeeLife 2022 Livestream Experience.
SeeLife 2022 will rally pro-life friends to pray and get equipped to live out our pro-life values.
Many pro-life champions will be speaking at the event, including Ben Shapiro, Candance Owens, President of Focus on the Family Jim Daly, President of March for Life Jeanne Mancini, and contemporary musician, singer, and songwriter Phil Wickham.
The event will be livestreamed on June 14, 2022, at 7 p.m. MT. Register here.
Don’t miss this opportunity to listen to pro-life leaders and learn how you can get involved in protecting preborn babies in your community.
Photo from Shutterstock.