‘Pro-family state’: Gov. Stitt says he wouldn’t support OK bill punishing women who get an abortion

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A freshman Senator has filed a bill that would charge Oklahoma women who get an abortion with murder, but Governor Kevin Stitt said it’s not something he’d be supportive of.

Senate Bill 1729, also known as the Abolition of Abortion Act, follows the “image of God,” according to the bill’s author.

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“It’s very simple. It seeks to take the exception for prenatal homicide, which is abortion, out of the homicide code and make it give equal protection under the law to all lives from the moment of conception to natural death,” stated Senator Dusty Deevers, R-Elgin.

The proposal states an abortion can only be justified if it’s to save the mother’s or unborn child’s life. The other exception is a spontaneous miscarriage.

Reasons that don’t fall under that umbrella, like rape and incest, would punish the mother.

The bill would charge her with murder.

Oklahoma State Attorney General Gentner Drummond released an opinion late last year, stating there were no current laws that criminalize abortion for mothers.

“Why do you want to do that now?” asked News 4’s Capitol Bureau Chief, Kaylee Olivas.

“I don’t want to do that,” responded Sen. Deevers.

“But that’s what it seems like in the bill,” said Olivas.

“That’s the wrong framing. The right framing is equal protection under the law,” stated Sen. Deevers. “If you kill a person, then you’re a murderer and you deserve to have due process under the law like any other murderer.”

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The bill does include an exception to charges. If a woman is coerced into an abortion, Sen. Deevers said the state would not pursue charges.

“She’s not done anything that was murderous. She’s not had the intent to with malice aforethought to kill her child. We’ve added those protections in there to make that clear,” he said.

Sen. Deevers said another protection added into the proposal would cover physicians.

“A doctor who has no malice aforethought, who is under the Hippocratic Oath, is seeking to treat both lives equally and to try to do no harm to both,” stated Sen. Deevers. “He’s not an intentional murderer, nor is he murdering. If that life of the baby perishes under his care, then that’s part of the triage situation. Not only would he not be a murderer, nor would the mother or anyone else who was treating an emergency pregnancy.”

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Governor Kevin Stitt held his first weekly legislative session press conference Friday. He was asked for his perspective on the anti-abortion proposal.

That’s something I don’t even want to get into now. We want to be a very pro-family state, pro-life state. We want to support the mothers. We want to support children. Specifics on any bills that are still being talked about – I think there’s 3,000 bills that are filed every year – I don’t even know who did it or what. From what you said, that doesn’t sound like something I’d be supportive of.

Governor Kevin Stitt (R)

The bill has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Members will decide whether an amendment needs to be made or they’ll put it up to a vote as is.

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