Oklahoma City archbishop promotes ‘culture of life’ after governor signs abortion ban – Catholic World Report
Washington, DC Newsroom, May 26, 2022 / 2:14 p.m. (CNA).
Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City on Wednesday thanked state leaders “for supporting pro-life measures” after the governor signed into law the nation’s toughest abortion ban.
Oklahoma’s law banning abortion from the moment of conception with few exceptions precedes a US Supreme Court ruling that could leave abortion law to the states alone.
“Building a culture of life in Oklahoma that recognizes the inherent dignity of every person requires the protections afforded by pro-life legislation and a profound change of heart,” Coakley said May 25.
“I encourage Oklahomans to pray for women in pregnancy crisis, for their families and loved ones, for families awaiting adoption, for fathers, and for the many resource centers on pregnancy in service to these brave parents. Thank you to Oklahoma’s legislative leaders and Governor Stitt for their support of pro-life measures,” he added.
Governor Kevin Stitt, a Republican, said after signing HB 4327: “From the moment life begins at conception, we have a responsibility as human beings to do all we can to protect life. of this baby and the life of the mother. If other states want to pass different laws, that’s their right, but in Oklahoma, we will always stand up for life.
The law provides exceptions for abortion to save the life of a pregnant woman as well as for cases of rape or incest reported to law enforcement.
The legislation also clarifies that an act is not defined as an abortion if it is performed for the purpose of saving the life or preserving the health of an unborn child; removing the body of an unborn dead child after a miscarriage; or remove an ectopic pregnancy.
Lila Rose, the leader of pro-life group Live Action, applauded Stitt for signing “one of the strongest pro-life bills in the country.”
“Starting tomorrow,” she tweeted Wednesday night, “all abortion centers in the great state of Oklahoma will be closed. Thousands of children’s lives will be saved.
The Oklahoma Legislature sent the bill to the governor’s office following a vote that generally went sideways on May 19.
Like Texas abortion law, this legislation relies on private citizen enforcement through civil suits that can be brought against anyone who performs an abortion or helps a woman obtain one.
The law prohibits civil suits against a pregnant woman seeking an abortion and by anyone who impregnated a woman seeking an abortion through rape, sexual assault, incest, or any other act prohibited by state law.
It does not apply to morning after pills or emergency contraception.
The law comes as a leaked U.S. Supreme Court bill in the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization suggests judges prepare to overturn Roe v. Wade, the case that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. If that happens, abortion laws could be left to each individual state.
In Roe v. Wade, the court ruled that states cannot ban abortion before viability — the point at which a baby can survive outside the womb — which the court determined to be 24 to 28 weeks pregnant. Almost 20 years later, the court upheld Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The 1992 ruling said that while states could regulate pre-viable abortions, they could not impose an “undue burden,” defined by the court as “a substantial obstacle in the way of a woman seeking an abortion of a non-viable fetus”.
Mississippi’s gestational age law, the subject of the Dobbs case, prohibits abortion weeks before the point of viability and directly challenges Roe and Casey.
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