Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt is keeping his promise to sign pro-life laws by signing a bill that strips abortion doctors of their licenses should they violate current laws on it.
"I'm keeping my promise to sign all pro-life legislation. We now have three more laws protecting the lives of the unborn! HB 2441, HB 1904, and HB 1102," Stitt tweeted on Monday with a picture of himself holding the printout of the signed law.
(3/4) I'm keeping my promise to sign all pro-life legislation. We now have three more laws protecting the lives of the unborn! HB 2441, HB 1904, and HB 1102. pic.twitter.com/PVdRBELNZg
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) April 26, 2021
"I will continue to keep my promise and sign every piece of pro-life legislation that hits my desk. Today, that's SB 918. I am proud to be called the most pro-life governor!" He announced in another tweet posted the next day, April 27.
Of the three bills he signed into law on Monday, House Bill 1102 punishes any doctor for performing an abortion that is not meant to prevent the death of the mother or prevent a significant impairment of the mother. The punishment entails the removal of the medical license of the aborting doctor for a minimum of one year.
HB1102, according to the legislation's literature, amends the "unprofessional conduct" indicated in physician licensure to include "procuring, aiding, or abetting a criminal operation" and "the commission of any act which is a violation of the criminal laws of any state when such act is connected with the physician's practice of medicine," among others that included abortion.
"Performance of an abortion as defined by Section 1-730 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, except for an abortion necessary to prevent the death of the mother or to prevent substantial or irreversible physical impairment of the mother that substantially increases the risk of death," HB1102 specified.
"The performance of an abortion on the basis of the mental or emotional health of the mother shall be a violation of this paragraph, notwithstanding a claim or diagnosis that the woman may engage in conduct which she intends to result in her death. The Board shall impose a penalty as provided in Section 509.1 of this title on a licensee who violates this paragraph. The penalty shall include, but not be limited to, suspension of the license for a period of not less than one (1) year."
The Christian Headlines reported that House Bill 2441 passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives with a 80-19 vote and the Senate with a 37-10 vote. The said bill mandates the detection of whether the "unborn child has a heartbeat" by the medical personnel prior to conducting the abortion, which should only be done if the pregnancy would create a "serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function." Otherwise, the medical personnel will be charged "guilty of homicide."
House Bill 1904, the Christian Headlines said, requires the obstetrics and gynecology board certification of medical personnel prior to conducting the abortion.
While Senate Bill 918 restores to the "State of Oklahoma the authority to prohibit abortion" through "an amendment to the United States Constitution."
All the said laws will take effect in November. However, pro-choice groups have already signified that they will legally contest the said laws. The Christian Headlines cited Planned Parenthood's interview with Oklahoma News where they condemned the law as a means to punish abortion providers, "shame women," and prohibit access to safe abortion.
Oklahoma News interviewed Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes Regional Manager of Public Policy and Organizing for Arkansas and Oklahoma Gloria Pedro who stressed that politicians should not meddle with the "medical decisions" of a patient in so far as her pregnancy is concerned since it is a private matter between her doctor.