Health

Oklahoma Close To Banning Docs From Performing Abortions

| by Michael Allen
Oklahoma mapOklahoma map

The State of Oklahoma is very close to banning doctors from performing most legal abortions with a bill that could revoke the medical licenses of physicians who perform the procedure.

The bill passed the state Senate April 21 after passing the state House in March, and will now head to Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, reports Reuters.

Fallin has not said if she will sign the bill, which includes exceptions for protecting the mother's life or removing a fetus after a miscarriage; there are no abortion exceptions for rape and incest victims.

The Washington Post noted that the bill defines abortion as "unprofessional conduct," which could serve as grounds to strip a doctor of their license.

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Republican state Sen. Nathan Dahm, who sponsored the bill, said in March, "This is our proper function, to protect life."

The same pro-life lawmaker said in 2013: "Health care is not a right, it is an enterprise, and it works best with fewer market distortions and the incentive to improve the services it offers customers," noted KRMG.

However, some Oklahoma lawmakers say the proposed bill violates the U.S. Constitution by outlawing a doctor from doing a legal medical procedure.

"Oklahoma politicians have made it their mission year after year to restrict women’s access [to] vital health care services, yet this total ban on abortion is a new low," Amanda Allen at the Center for Reproductive Rights stated.

"If we take care of morality, God will take care of the economy,” Republican state Rep. David Brumbaugh said during a debate on the bill.

Democratic state Rep. Emily Virgin asked Brumbaugh about the Oklahoma State Medical Association opposing the bill because it supersedes a doctor's judgment, according to the Washington Post.

"We already have a severe physician shortage in Oklahoma, so are you at all concerned about physicians leaving Oklahoma if this bill becomes law," Virgin stated.

"There’s no way that this will impact the medical community, and we’ve checked through that," Brumbaugh replied.

While advocating the political proposal in the state House, Brumbaugh said, "It’s not about policy. It’s not about politics. It’s about principle."

"Do we make laws because they’re moral and right, or do we make them based on what an unelected judicial occupant might question or want to overturn?" Brumbaugh added. "The last time I looked, that’s why I thought we had a separation of power."

The separation of power means that the judicial branch of government has the power to overturn new laws that violate present laws, the legislative branch has the power to write bills and the executive branch has the power to sign bills into law.

Sources: ReutersKRMG, Washington Post / Photo credit: TUBS/Wikimedia

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