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Sen. Nathan Dahm files trio of bills tackling abortion

Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, has filed a trio of abortion-related measures for the 2021 legislative session to prohibit abortion procedures and limit funding to Planned Parenthood in the state.

Senate Bill 612 would create a new law making an abortion procedure illegal in Oklahoma unless it is required to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency. A medical emergency would be defined as a condition that cannot be remedied by the delivery of the child in which an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of a pregnant woman, or a physical illness or injury including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.

Under the measure, a person convicted of attempting to or performing an abortion would be guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of up to $100,000, up to 10 years in prison, or both a fine and prison sentence. This measure has also been filed in Arkansas for their 2021 legislative session.

SB 723 would classify the violation of the Heartbeat Informed Consent Act, which makes it illegal to perform an abortion if the pregnancy is at least six weeks after fertilization and a physician determines the embryonic or fetal heartbeat is audible, as unprofessional conduct for doctors and prohibit any physician from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in the state if they violate the Act.

The measure would also require any abortion provider to comply with the Act. Similar legislation was signed into law in Georgia in 2020.

Finally, SB 584 would make it illegal for state funds or funds of a political subdivision to be made available to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors or clinics. The measure would not be construed to affect any limitation contained in an appropriations act relating to abortion or reduce overall state, county or municipal funding available in support of women’s health.

“This last week we passed 48 years since the U.S. Supreme Court permitted the termination of innocent life through abortion in the Roe v. Wade decision,” Dahm said. “For almost half a century, our nation has sacrificed unborn children, costing over 60 million lives. The core and proper function of government is to protect our rights. Any attempt to knowingly and willingly take an innocent life through abortion must be stopped.”