Oklahoma House Passes Bill Revoking Medical Licenses of Doctors Who Perform Abortion

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Any doctor who performs an abortion would lose his or her license for one year.

A bill revoking the medical license of any doctor who performs an abortion passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives last week and now moves to the Senate.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives on Thursday approved House Bill 1182, passed and sent to the Senate legislation that would effectively ban almost all abortions in the state by revoking the licenses of doctors performing the procedure, except in situations threatening the life of a woman.

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The bill that would direct the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision to revoke the license of a medical doctor who performs an abortion in Oklahoma, for a period of one year.

Seventy-one members of the House voted to approve the measure, which was authored by State Rep. Jim Olsen and numerous other co-sponsors. Twenty-one voted against the bill.

H.B. 1182, which passed 71-21, would add “performance of an abortion” to the list of “unprofessional” conducts that can get a doctor’s license revoked. Any doctor who performs an abortion would lose his or her license for one year.

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Rep. Jim Olsen, a Republican, is the bill’s sponsor.

“In supporting this, we [are] thinking about the value of the life of the mother and equally the life of the baby,” Olsen said, according to the Baptist Messenger.

Then-Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a similar bill in 2016, saying it was vague and could not withstand a court challenge. But she was term-limited and has been replaced by Gov. Kevin Stitt. He, like Fallin, is Republican.

“We are told the [U.S.] Supreme Court is the supreme law of the land, that we cannot protest its decision,” Olsen said. “There is a court even higher than the Supreme Court. There is the court of God. Abortion is a violation of the law of God.”

Republicans control both chambers.

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The bill says “performance of an abortion … shall be grounds for denial or revocation of a medical license.” It allows for an exception to save the mother’s life or to “prevent substantial or irreversible physical impairment of the mother that substantially increases the risk of death.” But it also says an abortion “on the basis of the mental or emotional health of the mother shall be grounds for denial or revocation of a medical license.”

Minority Leader Emily Virgin, a Democrat, voted against the bill.

“Folks, this is not an easy issue,” she said, according to the Tulsa World. “It’s not black and white. There are situations with a lot of nuance. For us to wade into the nuance, the most personal details of a person’s life, of a family … for us to say that we know better, that we know what’s best for you, to insert ourselves into this most personal situation, I think is just wrong,” according to Christian Headlines.

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