Proposed bill would charge anyone performing abortions in Oklahoma with 1st-degree murder

State Sen. Joseph Silk says it's time to take the gloves off when it comes to abortion.

"We either protect life as a state, or we don't," said Silk. "A 4-week-old fetus in the womb is no different than a 1-year-old child."

Because of that, Silk says anyone who performs an abortion unless the mother's life is in danger should be charged with first-degree murder.

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"It's just the intentional premeditated murder of a human being," said Silk.

He says the response he's getting from Senate Bill 817 has been mixed.

"There's a lot who are furious about it, and then there's a lot who love it," said Silk. "This is what they've been looking for for a long time."

State House Rep. Monroe Nichols says this isn't the first time Silk has tried to get this bill through.

"Been there before. Completely unconstitutional," said Nichols.

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Nichols is pro-choice but thinks abortions should be few and far between, and he thinks there are better ways of reaching that goal.

"The number of abortions are down, teen pregnancy in this county is down," said Nichols. "And it's not because we filed some unconstitutional piece of legislation, but because we found ways to come together and make sure the type of education and type of resources are out there to help people through that."

But Silk says his bill is the way to do it.

"As a legislator, my primary goal is to protect innocent life through the bills that I author," said Silk.

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With Texas and Arkansas passing tougher abortion laws and a new president in the White House, Silk says the time has never been better to see this bill through.

"President Trump has been very vocal about wanting to return the issue of abortion to the states. And if that's the case, then Oklahoma needs to be ready for if that happens and when it happens," said Silk.

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