Debate Sparks On House Floor Before Controversial Abortion Bill Passes

Tuesday, March 21st 2017, 6:26 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

Debate over a controversial abortion bill in the state House of Representatives became a lengthy discussion of medicine, education, religion and parental rights.  

Rep. George Faught, R-District 14, caught an earful when he pitched his so-called Prenatal Nondiscrimination Bill, which would make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion because of certain fetal defects. 

“Are you not attempting to play God by trying to have this body legislate what folks should do between their god and their bodies?” Rep. Regina Goodwin, D-District 73, asked.

Opponents said women could lie about their reason for an abortion, and they said there are redundancies with current law.

“Can you point to a gap in statute where this is a web that cures something?” Rep. Forrest Bennett, D-District 92, asked.

“Well, I actually am sorry that you feel that life is not enough to be protected,” Faught replied.

Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-District 88, argued expanding sex education could also help reduce abortions.

“Making access to contraception and teaching sex education in our high schools are always shot down in this body, but we continue to put forward unconstitutional efforts,” Dunnington said.

“I always believe that abstinence is the best deterrent to that,” Faught said.

In the end, the bill passed 67 to 16.  

“At what point did you decide that that’s within your ability to decide for all women in Oklahoma?” Goodwin asked.

“One of the things I campaigned on was to protect life and I believe life begins at conception,” Faught said. “It goes back to do you want to protect life or not?”

The bill now moves to the state Senate.