Oklahoma Governor Holds Anti-Abortion Bill Signing Ceremony

Oklahoma Governor Holds Anti-Abortion Bill Signing Ceremony Oklahoma Governor Holds Anti-Abortion Bill Signing Ceremony

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, signed nine separate anti-abortion bills into law on Sept. 9, 2021. (Sue Ogrocki/AP File)

By Charles Kim | Friday, 10 September 2021 07:03 PM

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt held a ceremony Thursday with lawmakers and Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a nonprofit anti-abortion organization, to sign nine separate anti-abortion bills into law.

''I promised Oklahomans I would sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk and I am proud to keep that promise,'' Stitt said on Thursday in a press release and a post on Twitter. ''As a father of six, it's an honor to be the most pro-life governor in the country and I will always step up to protect the lives of unborn children.''

The bills cover a range of issues, including a restoration of Oklahoma's prohibition on abortion should the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade be overturned.

The bills also add the performance of an abortion to the state's ''unprofessional'' conduct statutes, requires abortion providers to be board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, prohibits abortion once cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks after pregnancy occurs, and provides safeguards around abortion-inducing medications.

''Gov. Stitt has kept his promise to sign every piece of pro-life legislation that reaches his desk. He is at the forefront of nationwide momentum to challenge the status quo and modernize our extreme abortion laws,'' Dannenfelser said. ''Across the nation, pro-life governors are taking bold action to ensure that state laws reflect the will of their constituents and the clear science showing [the] humanity of unborn children.

''As radical Democrats in Washington push abortion on demand through birth, paid for by taxpayers, and seek to expand dangerous abortion drugs, strong pro-life leaders in statehouses are critically important — and they are stepping up like never before. Life is winning in Oklahoma and across America. I'm proud to stand with Gov. Stitt at this historic moment and thank him for his leadership on behalf of pro-life Americans.''

Despite the ceremony, five of the laws are already being challenged in court.

Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice and others, including a local Planned Parenthood organization, filed a complaint in federal court Sept. 2, arguing that five of the nine bills are unconstitutional.

According to the complaint, making abortion a part of the unprofessional conduct statutes effectively makes it illegal in the state, and against legal precedent there.

''The challenged laws are unconstitutional and contrary to clear Oklahoma Supreme Court precedent,'' the complaint states. ''In some instances, the challenged laws purport to reenact requirements largely identical to ones already struck down as unconstitutional by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.''

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing Texas, where Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed a similar bill into law prohibiting abortions after cardiac activity is detected.

Original Article