Oklahoma State Senator Proposes Bill That Would Classify Abortion as Felony Homicide

By Zachary Stieber

A state senator in Oklahoma has proposed a bill that would classify abortion as a felony homicide, arguing that abortion can be considered as an act of taking a human life.

“It’s going to be classified as a homicide because, essentially, a fertilized egg is a human life just like a 1-year-old baby is a human life,” Sen. Joseph Silk, a Republican, told KFOR.

“So, an abortion would be considered intentionally taking a human life,” he said.

The punishment for abortion would be up to life in prison.

Asked what he would tell a woman who was sentenced to life in prison for aborting an unborn child, Silk said: “The exact same thing I would say to a mother who just killed a 1-month-old or a 1-year-old child. It’s a horrific act and there shouldn’t be any tolerance for it.”

He was also asked a common question lobbed at officials and activists trying to limit abortion, whether his bill includes any exceptions for women who become pregnant through incest or rape.

“The numbers of rape and incest are so tiny, under half a percent. So, it’s almost not even an arguable question,” said Silk. “It is a human life, regardless of how it came to be.”

Silk’s bill, Senate Bill 13, is called the “Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act” and calls on Oklahoma to ignore federal law on abortion, similar to how some states and cities ignore federal law pertaining to illegal immigration.

The bill contains the argument that Roe v Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the country, is unconstitutional.

“Any federal statute, regulation, executive order, or court decision which purports to supersede, stay, or overrule this act is in violation of the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma and the Constitution of the United States of America and is therefore void,” the bill states. “The State of Oklahoma and its political subdivisions, and agents thereof, may not enter an appearance, special or otherwise, in any federal suit challenging this act.”

If passed, the bill would make abortion a homicide effective Nov. 1, 2019.

Silk told the Tulsa World that during the fight to make slavery illegal, some states abolished it before the federal government. He said the fight for the rights of unborn babies could go the same way.

“The goal is to say we are a sovereign state and choose to abolish abortion,” Silk said.

Gov.-elect Kevin Stitt said on the campaign trail that he is pro-life and would appoint pro-life judges to the Oklahoma Supreme Court but a spokesman said he was busy focusing on the transition and couldn’t comment on specific pieces of legislation.

Allie Shinn, deputy director of the ACLU of Oklahoma, said the bill would damage so-called reproductive rights.

“When to have children or whether to have children at all is a deeply personal decision, one in which the government has no right to interfere,” she said. “Senator Silk is demonstrating yet again that he has little interest in honoring his oath to uphold the Constitution.”