After years of blocking pro-life legislation, Senate Democrat leaders – who hold only a razor-thin majority in the Legislature’s upper chamber – finally allowed a significant pro-life bill to be heard on the Senate floor Wednesday.
House Bill 1686 passed the State Senate Wednesday 44 to 4.
The bill’s provisions include:
1) The Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also known as the “Laci and Conner Peterson” law, making it a separate crime to harm a fetus in the commission of a crime against a pregnant woman.
2) Informed consent, which requires abortionists to provide women with information regarding fetal development, the health risks of an abortion, and alternatives to abortion.
3) Parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor child.
The bill’s legislative language was approved by the National Right to Life Committee, considered the “gold standard” for assuring pro-life legislation is constitutional. Oklahomans for Life, based in Tulsa, also supports the legislation.
“This is a great day for the pro-life movement in the state of Oklahoma. It really helped to have a pro-life Republican majority in the House of Representatives to bring pressure on the Senate Democrat leadership to finally allow a floor vote on pro-life legislation,” stated Sen. James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa.
“The state of Oklahoma is strongly pro-life, and the Oklahoma State Legislature is strongly pro-life. We have waited for many years for the Senate Democrat leadership to acquiesce and allow the Senate to work its will on a pro-life bill. I am so proud of our vote today, because the Legislature hasn’t done this much to protect unborn children in anyone’s recent memory,” stated Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, R-Moore.
Williamson was the original Senate author of House Bill 1543, the informed consent bill which was killed by Senate Democrat leaders earlier this session.
Wilcoxson was the original Senate author of House Bill 1257, the “Laci and Conner Peterson” law, which was killed by Senate Democrat leaders earlier this session.