Pictured: John Michener
A State-sanctioned Coat Hanger
This is great news for which we have waited half a century. In the immediate aftermath, thousands of lives will be saved in Oklahoma. At the same time, notice that SCOTUS did not point out that all elective abortion that is not medical triage is unconstitutional per the Fifth Amendment, which requires due process to take a life, and the Fourteenth Amendment, which requires every innocent life to be given equal protection of the laws within the State.
These twin constitutional pillars of a right to life and equal protection are grounded in a biblical understanding of God’s nature. God does not show partiality or favoritism: “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly” (Lev. 19:15); “For Yehovah your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes” (Deut. 10:17-18); “For God does not show favoritism” (Romans 2:11). Human beings are intrinsically valuable because we are made in the image of God. We are different from opossums and cock roaches. Because we are all equally human and equally precious to God, we should be valued equally under the law. Our founding fathers therefore ensconced these principles in our founding documents.
In light of these moral and constitutional truths, SCOTUS could have and should have directed all States to criminalize all elective abortions. In the long run, this shortcoming will cost thousands of lives per year, even in Oklahoma.
Any pro-life politician who tells you that abortion is now illegal in Oklahoma is ignorant, or lying to you, or deceived. It is true that doctors can no longer personally administer abortions, but under Senate Bills 918 and 1555 (Oklahoma’s trigger law), SB 612, and HB 4327, all women in Oklahoma (approximately nine hundred thousand of child-bearing age) are completely free to pull the trigger on their own preborn babies by various chemical and abortion pill methods which are still legal and available. No risk of investigation, prosecution, or criminality – no legal consequences whatsoever.
The “trigger bill” (SB 918) repealed Section 862 of the criminal code, which read: “Every woman who solicits of any person any medicine, drug, or substance whatever, and takes the same…with intent thereby to procure [an abortion], unless the same is necessary to preserve her life, is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail…” Similarly, SB 612, effective at the end of August, states: “This [act] does not: a. authorize the charging or conviction of a woman with any criminal offense in the death of her own unborn child…”
Therefore, with only a few clicks online, women can order abortion pills delivered to their doors. Many sites are already providing this service, and more are on the way. Abortion providers in New Mexico and Colorado are offering “telehealth” consultations and prescriptions. The process is similar to that used by many Oklahomans to get their medical marijuana: a few clicks online, never actually see or consult a doctor, get the prescription, have the pills delivered. Everything is readily available and easily obtainable from sites like PlanCpills.org, AidAccess.org, AbortionPillInfo.org, and online pharmacies like abortionrx.com.
At a Gov. Stitt press conference, the attorney general even bragged about Oklahoma’s gaping loophole when he stated, “What I love about this bill is that there is not a punishment in it for the mother…” At Gov. Stitt’s press conference celebrating the reversal of Roe, the attorney general reiterated, “In the Oklahoma law there is no punishment for the mother.” Because this statement is true, it logically follows that these statements of his are false: “The womb is now, in Oklahoma, the safest place for a child to be… As of this morning, abortions performed or solicited in Oklahoma are illegal.” Fact check: FALSE! Abortion is not illegal, and the womb is not the safest place to be when the State has legally empowered every woman in the State to solicit and commit murder by abortion. The abortion pill is now a State-sanctioned coat hanger.
Senator Warren Hamilton often revealed the injustices of this year’s pro-life laws during debate on the Senate floor. Here are a few examples of his remarks to fellow legislators: “Lady Justice wears a blindfold so that she cannot see the defendant. But this bill clearly does [consider the defendant.] She also holds scales which symbolize equality, that everyone is equal before the law. No one is above it, and no one is below it. This [bill] flies in the face of that… The implication is undeniable, that those who do not have a voice are beneath the law… Leonardo da Vinci said, ‘He who does not punish evil, commands it to be done.’” Hamilton concluded, “We can do better.” Sadly, he and his bill to completely abolish abortion were ignored.
Attempts to correct the Republican Party by both Senator Hamilton and Oklahomans United for Life demonstrate that the truth does not conform to a Left-versus-Right, Republican-versus-Democratic propaganda paradigm. The truth often takes an entirely different direction. Senator Hamilton ought to be celebrated by grassroots conservatives as the true pro-life champion and abolitionist that he is. Therefore, Oklahomans United for Life is proud to name Senator Warren Hamilton our 2022 “Wilberforce Champion,” for fighting not only to abolish abortion, but for exposing the injustice of establishment pro-life policies. This award gets its name from William Wilberforce, a member of the British Parliament, who was famous for his life-long campaign to abolish the slave trade, and eventually slavery itself. Year after year he introduced legislation to abolish slavery, but year after year justice was twisted, denied, and delayed, often by leaders in his own political party. Congratulations, Senator Hamilton. Your courage and your voice are an inspiration. We salute you!
One wonders, would we allow these politicians to get away with this kind of injustice if the victims were born children? Recall the stories of Andrea Yates and Darlie Routier, or Dena Schlosser who murdered her eleven-month-old daughter Margaret by hacking off her arms with a knife. In these cases the women were found either guilty of murder or to be insane. We would never default to the position that all women should be granted authorization to murder their children, so long as those children were delivered through the birth canal. Yet, currently, the opposite is true. Our Republican politicians specifically granted women the legal right to murder their children, so long as those children have not passed through the birth canal.
Governor Stitt and pro-life legislators in Oklahoma have denied the moral and constitutional rights to life and equal protection of the law to their preborn neighbors. Their weak wills equal a license to kill. License to Kill: “The official sanction by a State to use lethal force in the pursuit of the State’s objectives.”
To better understand the current transition in the abortion industry, consider the historical transition of the pornography (porn) industry. Playboy magazine sold more than seven million copies per month at its peak! It averaged more than five million copies per month throughout the 1970s and into the 80s. It was kept out of the public eye by pro-family regulations on the industry. Pornographic magazines were kept covered and concealed behind counters. Video tapes were sold outside of city limits at seedy storefronts. It could not be sold to minors. Consumers had to seek it out and ask for it.
Playboy’s circulation dwindled over the years, eventually falling to only four hundred thousand per month in 2017, and it went out of print in the spring of 2020. Competing magazines such as Penthouse and Hustler have followed a similar pattern. Pro-family politicians could look at these statistics and claim, “Clearly, our pro-family regulations have ended the consumption of porn in the US,” but does anyone seriously believe that the consumption of porn has decreased?
We are in the midst of a similar transition in the abortion industry. Pro-life politicians are telling voters that their new regulations have completely ended abortion in Oklahoma, but in reality their new laws have only removed the most obvious and easily tracked murders from public retail space. They are actually aiding and abetting the abortion industry in its transition to a new era of more private and pervasive child-sacrifice. The closing of a few abortion deathcamps is the wrong measure of success. Governor Stitt and pro-life legislators seem satisfied with the transition from doctor-administered murders to mommy-administered murders and have enacted the legislation paving the way for the abortion industry to make a smooth transition.
We cannot claim victory in Oklahoma until the rights to life and equal protection are guaranteed to all of our preborn neighbors. To truly rid the State of innocent bloodshed, women, too, must face legal ramifications for soliciting and performing murder by abortion. Celebrating the reversal of Roe is appropriate, but let us not inadvertently celebrate the injustices of our new pro-life laws and allow them to become entrenched.
John Michener is the Director of Oklahomans United for Life (OUL). You can contact him at: