Oklahoma might vote on the legality of abortion


    (KOKH/FILE)

    A bill that would allow Oklahomans to vote on the fate of abortion in the state is moving on to the house.

    Now the main question at hand is, does the Oklahoma constitution protect the right for a woman to have an abortion?

    If the house passes Senate Bill 195 and Governor Stitt signs it, that question will make it onto the 2020 ballot.

    Previous versions of Senate Bill 195, included what lawmakers call "trigger language".

    It said if Roe Versus Wade, or Planned Parenthood Versus Casey were overturned by federal courts, the prohibition on abortion in Oklahoma would become enforcable.

    However, Wednesday evening a floor substitute of 195 was introduced.

    The bill, if it became law, would place a legislative referendum on the 2020 ballot. Meaning Oklahomans would cast their opinions on whether or not they think the Oklahoma Constitution guarantees a right to an abortion.

    Thursday, a bipartisan vote approved the bill, which was written by Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat.

    Treat did not respond to a request for an interview, but he is quoted in a statement from his office saying, "I still hope and pray that one day soon the U.S. Supreme court will correct the judicial mistake of the past that legalized abortion in Roe Versus Wade and Planned Parenthood Versus Casey. But it's far more likely, in the short-term, that the Oklahoma Supreme Court finds an invented right to an abortion in the state constitution".

    Opposers of the bill say their concern lies within state lawmakers taking away rights that federal lawmakers have provided.

    According to Tamya Cox-Toure, J.D., the Regional Director of Public Policy and Organizing at Planned Parenthood, "We think it's really important that this is an education piece as well. We know that regardless of where you feel on the abortion question, we know that it is never appropriate for politicians to interfere with the doctor-patient relationship."

    Senator Treat said he expects to pursue the “trigger language,” in another abortion bill at some point in the future.

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