Oklahoma Republican State Senator Joseph Silk has submitted an extreme abortion bill. SB 13 would reclassify abortion as homicide, meaning that patients who get abortions as well as doctors who perform abortions would both be classified as felons. Media Matters reports that there are no exceptions for rape or incest, and the bill also punishes patients for using certain forms of contraception. The bill has spurred other states to introduce similar legislation, as in Texas, Colorado and Indiana.
Silk has introduced anti-abortion legislation to the Oklahoma Senate in the past. He also spoke at a campaign rally for gubernatorial candidate Dan Fisher in 2018. When Fisher was running for office, he campaigned on wanting to “make Oklahoma the first abortion-free state.” Fisher’s campaign failed, but he started an abortion abolition organization called Free the States. The organization supports Silk and his bill.
Abortion abolition groups, as opposed to other anti-abortion groups, demand the immediate criminalization of abortion with no exceptions. They also oppose most types of birth control.
The reporting on SB 13 did not include any information on Silk’s ties to the abortion abolition community. The title of the bill is: “Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act.” The reporting on the bill has instead given Silk a platform to share his radical ideas. Silk has even compared abortion to slavery and the holocaust. Most stories on the bill included no pro-choice perspectives whatsoever.
Reports on abortion bills must describe all of the consequences of the proposed policies for both abortion providers and women who become pregnant.
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