Oklahomans for Life (OFL) has been the primary opposition to the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act since the bill was first introduced in 2016. They’ve given Senators anti-abolition talking points and provided strategies for denying the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act a hearing. Abolitionists were able to obtain copies of OFL’s anti-abolition strategy letters in 2016 and 2019.
- Read OFL President Tony Lauinger’s 2019 anti-abolition strategy letter here.
- Watch Lauinger converse with abolitionists about his 2016 anti-abolition letter here.
There were certainly more letters and meetings where Lauinger worked to prevent abortion’s immediate abolition, but those are the letters abolitionists were able to obtain. It is no secret that OFL is the primary opposition to this bill. Lauinger won’t deny it if asked.
Continuing their work to prevent the Abolition of Abortion Act from passing, Question 3 of the Oklahomans for Life 2020 candidate questionnaire requests candidates’ opposition to the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act, by asking them whether they will “oppose attempts to repeal existing pro-life laws, even by entities purporting to oppose abortion, except as part of a comprehensive restructuring of pro-life laws designed both to withstand court scrutiny and to save the lives of unborn children as supported by Oklahomans for Life.”
This is a reference to the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act, which repeals abortion regulations… because it has to. One of the ways pro-life politicians and lobbyists have tried to scare people away from supporting abortion’s immediate abolition is by pointing out that the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act repeals all of their “hard-fought pro-life victories.” What they don’t mention is that these pro-life victories have to be repealed in order for abortion to be abolished.
A law establishing that abortion is legal as long as the mother is offered an ultrasound cannot coexist with a law establishing that abortion is illegal. A law establishing that abortion is legal as long as the baby is younger than 20 weeks cannot coexist with a law establishing that abortion is illegal. A law establishing that abortion is legal as long as the mother is made aware of the abortion reversal pill cannot coexist with a law establishing that abortion is illegal. The list goes on but that will suffice. Every pro-life law establishes that abortion is legal as long as the abortionist and/or the mother jump through a pro-life hoop first. Abortion cannot be abolished while these laws remain on the books. A bill to abolish abortion must repeal them. This is why the repeal of these abortion-regulations is one of the five components of an abolition bill.
The question’s mention of “entities purporting to oppose abortion” refers to Free the States, Abolish Abortion Oklahoma, the Ekklesia of Oklahoma, Oklahomans United for Life, Operation Save America, Missionaries to the Preborn, Apologia Studios, and the many other state-specific abolitionist organizations in the various states. I assure you, we do not simply “purport” to oppose abortion. We actually demand abortion’s immediate abolition and sacrifice greatly to make that demand a reality. However, the question of whether an organization purports to oppose abortion or actually opposes abortion could rightly be asked of an organization like National Right to Life (of which OFL is a state-level affiliate) which brings in millions of dollars annually and uses part of that money to oppose efforts to immediately abolish abortion.
Question 2 from OFL’s candidate survey should also be noted. The question reads: “If efforts to enact such a law [to prohibit abortion upon reversal of Roe v. Wade except to prevent the death of the mother] failed, will you vote for a law that would prohibit abortion except when necessary to prevent the death of the mother, or when the pregnancy is the result of forcible rape (reported to law enforcement authorities within seven days), or when the pregnancy resulted from an act of incest committed against a minor (with the perpetrator reported to law enforcement authorities)?”
This question is asked because compromise is central to Oklahomans for Life/National Right to Life’s philosophy. While we will not support candidates who will compromise, OFL will only support candidates who do. In a state like Oklahoma, there’s no need to compromise and include the rape exception. Pro-lifers control everything. If you really wanted to enact a law to prohibit abortion upon reversal of Roe v. Wade, what you have to do is hold a firm line. Instead, OFL works to prepare candidates to compromise their principles from the get-go.
Oklahomans for Life’s endorsement is a good way to know a candidate is going to oppose abortion’s immediate abolition. Candidates should not want OFL’s endorsement and Oklahomans should not want the candidates they support to have OFL’s endorsement.