An Oklahoma Republican lawmaker plans to file a bill this week implementing a statewide ban on abortion.
District 7 State Sen. Warren Hamilton, R-McCurtain, ran as an abortion abolitionist in his campaign to win election as a freshman legislator and announced his intention to file the bill soon after taking office.
Hamilton told the News-Capital the bill sits with staff for final adjustments, but he plans to file it within the week.
“I want to make sure that I have all my ducks in a row and it says exactly what I want it to say before I file it,” Hamilton said.
Oklahoma lawmakers have until Jan. 21 to file bills for the 2021 legislative session that starts Feb. 1.
Hamilton won a four-year term to represent District 7, which covers Pittsburg, Latimer and Haskell counties, and portions of Hughes and Okfuskee counties.
He said the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act/Equal Protection and Equal Justice Act would criminalize all abortions.
When asked about any exceptions, Hamilton said he believes procedures to save a mother’s life during childbirth should be defined as “triage” and should be accepted.
“Not any piece of legislation that I will author is going to try to put a mother’s life in danger,” Hamilton said. “That’s triage — you can have two dead people or you can have one dead person. And so there’s not a doctor in the world that’ll say ‘we’re going to have two.’”
“I think there needs to be a redefinition of terms, but until that happens, I’m certainly not going to stop moving in a Godly and a just direction,” he added.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in 1973, striking many federal and state abortion laws in stating the Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s choice to have an abortion without government restriction.
Oklahoma bills criminalizing abortion have failed as recently as last year when former senator Joseph Silk’s abortion abolition bill, Senate Bill 13, stalled with many calling it unconstitutional.
The bill and vote on the legislation became a point of contention in the Republican primary race for the District 7 senate seat between Hamilton and then-incumbent Larry Boggs.
Hamilton has said the U.S. Constitution allows states to exercise reserved police powers to outlaw homicide and provide equal protection to all.
“The people who are opposed to it, they’re not requesting a dialogue,” Hamilton said. “It’s one-sided.”
Hamilton said he is open to discussions and prefers email before a phone call. His office email is firstname.lastname@example.org and his office phone is 405-521-5604.
He said the abortion abolition bill is supported by Southern Baptists for the Abolition of Abortion; Freewill Baptists Abolitionist Society; Free the States; Oklahomans United for Life; The Ekklesia of Oklahoma; City Elders; Fairview Baptist Church; Reclaiming America for Christ; OCPAC; Western Oklahoma Christians for Liberty; Congressional District 3 Republican Party Chairman Daniel Navejas; and Logan County Republican Chairman Kyle Brown.
Contact Adrian O’Hanlon III at email@example.com