Despite being widely known as one of the most pro-life states in America, the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down two laws protecting pre-born children.
Senate Bill 1503 banned abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat while House Bill 4327 banned abortion altogether.
Both pieces of legislation, which were passed last year by a supermajority in both chambers and then signed into law by the governor, provided exceptions in the event of a medical emergency. HB 4327 allowed termination in the event of a sexual assault.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt expressed his disappointment and frustration with the decision.
“I again wholeheartedly disagree with the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s use of activism to create a right to an abortion in Oklahoma,” Stitt said. “This court has once more over-involved itself in the state’s democratic process, and has interceded to undo legislation created by the will of the people. I agree with Justice Rowe’s dissent, ‘The issues presented in this matter are political questions, which are better resolved by the people via our democratic process.'”
“As governor, I will continue to do my part to fight to protect the lives of the unborn. From the moment life begins at conception, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect that baby’s life and the life of the mother. Oklahoma will keep working to be the most pro-family state in the nation.”
In light of the reversal of Roe and the upholding of Dobbs, how could a majority of judges override the will of the state’s legislators?
The Oklahoma Supreme Court justices suggested the emergency medical parameters given for exceptions were too narrow.
One of the great ironies of such a ruling is that countless babies have been killed since 1973 thanks to the Roe parameters allowing for abortion during the second and third trimesters if the “mother’s health” was in question. Neither abortionists nor activist judges had any problem with the vagueness of such a declaration. It was regularly abused. But now that the shoe is on the other foot, so to speak, these judges are demanding that any vagueness be resolved.
As we approach the one-year anniversary of Roe’s reversal, this decision is but one more reminder that the quest to protect innocent life will require a sustained and tireless effort on the pro-life side to engage the hostile forces committed to forging and fostering a culture of death.
“[Wednesday’s] ruling won’t change that, and we will continue to be a voice for the voiceless as we strive to protect the right to life in the State of Oklahoma,” wrote House Speaker Kevin McCall (R-Atoka).
The silver lining of the dark cloud hanging over the Oklahoma Supreme Court is that thanks to a 1910 law, abortion still remains largely illegal.
“Except for certain circumstances outlined in that statute, abortion is still unlawful in the State of Oklahoma,” Gentner Drummond, the state’s attorney general, wrote on Wednesday.
It was Thomas Jefferson who once declared, “Let the eye of vigilance never be closed.” Thankfully, pro-lifers in the Sooner State are pledging to do just that.
Photo from Shutterstock.