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State Sen. Joseph Silk, R-Broken Bow, issued the following statement regarding the lack of support by Senate leadership for Senate Bill 13, also known as the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act. Silk is the author of SB 13.
“On the heels of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma issuing their opposition to Senate Bill 13 last week, now Senate leadership has introduced Senate Bill 195, which is an alternative bill that would make abortion illegal in Oklahoma only if Roe v. Wade is overturned or if the U.S. Constitution is amended. Unfortunately, SB 195 does absolutely nothing to save the lives of unborn children in Oklahoma today. It offers no immediate protection and accomplishes nothing unless the federal law changes. It’s based on a trigger event that will likely not happen anytime soon, but in the meantime, more than 5,000 children die each year in Oklahoma – that’s between 15 and 20 unborn children killed every day -- while we wait for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. What we’ve been doing in Oklahoma for the past 43 years has been an absolute failure and it’s time to put the lives of the unborn first.
“The constitutionality of pro-life legislation can be compared to medical marijuana legislation, in that both are considered in violation of both the U.S. Constitution and our state Constitution. But yet, the very same leaders who have supported laws to make medical marijuana legal, without regard for what the federal law says about it being illegal, are also some of the same people who refuse to support SB 13 because they fear it will not hold up in court.
“The bottom line is, it’s impossible to be an abortion free state and a pro-life state. If Roe v. Wade were overturned tomorrow, the pro-life legislation currently on the books in Oklahoma would still be keeping abortion legal in the state. SB 13 would have an immediate impact now, saving countless unborn children.
“The ‘pro-life’ legislation many in our state are proud and protective of is the very legislation that is keeping abortion legal in Oklahoma. If Oklahoma wants to end abortion and protect all human life, we cannot retain the exceptions that these ‘pro-life’ laws offer. We are either an abortion-free state or a state that simply regulates abortion.”