Nate Jackson / May 20, 2016

The Oklahoma Abortion Gambit

The state legislature is aiming for Roe v. Wade.

Oklahoma is working on arguably the most direct challenge to Roe v. Wade since the 1973 ruling. The state legislature passed a bill (by a nearly 3-1 margin) making it a felony to perform an abortion in the state, and any doctor who does could be imprisoned for three years and permanently stripped of his or her medical license. “Since I believe life begins at conception, it should be protected,” said Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm, who authored the bill. “I believe it’s a core function of state government to defend that life from the beginning of conception.” Dahm also stated that he’s hopeful the law will lead to overturning Roe v. Wade. First, it needs the signature of Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, who hasn’t indicated one way or the other.

Naturally, pro-abortion groups immediately cried foul, declaring the bill “a new low,” as well as “cruel and unconstitutional.” We don’t recall those groups objecting all that vehemently to the actually cruel practices of Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia, and they jumped to the defense of Planned Parenthood’s practice of selling aborted baby parts.

But let’s consider for a moment what the Constitution says about abortion “rights.” ___. Yep, nothing. Nada. It ain’t in there. Yet somehow, nearly 200 years after the Constitution was written, the Supreme Court discovered an emanation from a penumbra resulting in a “right” to a practice that has since then claimed nearly 60 million lives.

To be clear, overturning Roe would not outlaw the practice, either. Far from it. The issue would return to the states, where it belongs. In any case, even were Justice Antonin Scalia still living, it’s unlikely the Court would overturn Roe. It’s had the opportunity to do so before (Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992), and instead reaffirmed it. Moreover, the law is unlikely to make it that far in the courts, which have already struck down far less restrictive Oklahoma laws. With that in mind, all eyes are on Gov. Fallin.

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