On March 11, Oklahoma State Senator Joseph Silk filed a motion on the floor of the Senate to place the “Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act” (SB13) on general order, where it could then be brought to the Senate floor for a hearing.
The reason the motion had to be made to bring SB13 out of committee and directly to general order is because the bill was denied a hearing in committee. At the behest of Senator Greg Treat, the anti-abolitionist leader of the Senate, SB13 had been denied a hearing in the Health and Human Services committee by its puppet chair Senator Greg McCortney. This was despite broad public support for total and immediate abolition in Oklahoma.
- Roughly 2,500 Oklahomans rallied at the Oklahoma State Capitol in support SB13 on February 11, 2020.
- Oklahoma Baptists, the largest Christian association in the state, passed a resolution on November 12, 2019 calling for the passage of a bill establishing the “immediate end of abortion without exception or compromise.”
- The Oklahoma Association of Free Will Baptists passed a resolution on May 5, 2019 calling for the Oklahoma State government to “pass, sign, and enforce legislation abolishing the practice of human abortion at all gestational stages and for all reasons in Oklahoma.”
- An Oklahoma Pastor’s Petition calling for SB13 to be given a hearing on the Senate floor was signed by 107 Oklahoma pastors over a three-day period and delivered to the Senators just prior to Silk’s motion.
- The Oklahoma Republican Party platform was amended on April 6, 2019 to call for SB13 to be given a hearing on the floor of both chambers. So for a Republican to vote against SB13 was not only to reject the will of the Christians and Pastors of Oklahoma, it was to reject his or her own party platform.
Silk’s motion was the final chance for the Oklahoma Senate to listen to grassroots Republicans, the state’s largest Christian denominations, Oklahoma Pastors from various denominations, and the growing Abolitionist Movement in the state.
When Silk’s motion was announced, Senator Kim David immediately filed a counter motion to table Silk’s motion and quickly kill SB13. Her motion passed by a vote of 38-4, and abortion was thus kept legal for another year in Oklahoma. (Watch the motion and vote here).
Of the 38 senators who voted against allowing even a hearing for SB13, 30 were pro-life Republicans. These 30 pro-life Republicans ignored the 2,500 Abolition Day attendees. They ignored the Oklahoma Republican Party platform. They ignored the Oklahoma Southern Baptist and Oklahoma Free Will Baptist conventions. Most importantly, they spurned the word of God which calls lawmakers to establish justice for the fatherless.
It’s crucial that the people of Oklahoma know what happened on March 11. It is our desire to inform Oklahomans regarding which Oklahoma State Senators support the immediate abolition of abortion and which don’t. That is the purpose of this page and of the graded scorecards below.
One senator received an A+ and that is Joseph Silk who filed a bill of total abolition, fought for it, and abstained from supporting any unjust substitute pro-life bill designed to delay abolition. He did all of this despite being punished severely for his stand by Greg Treat and the pro-life Republican establishment.
The only B+ was given to Nathan Dahm who was a coauthor for SB13, voted to place SB13 on general order on March 11, and sent out emails and social media posts rallying support for SB13. He doesn’t get an A because he also coauthored unjust pro-life compromise bills which served as a substitute for SB13.
Two Senators, Chris Kidd and Roland Pederson, were awarded a B. These two men stood up to Greg Treat and Kim David on March 11 to vote in favor of placing SB13 on general order. That was a brave stand and we are thankful for it. But Kidd and Pederson also supported the unjust substitute bills and they didn’t do any public campaigning for SB13 or sign on as coauthors. We would love to give Dahm, Pederson, and Kidd an A+ next year if they oppose incremental pro-life bills next session!
Senators who voted against allowing SB13 to be heard receive an F. Likewise senators who abstained from voting get a big fat F because abstaining is no better. By abstaining, they were trying to protect themselves by avoiding the anger of the establishment and the rebuke of abolitionists. They will not get any credit for that. Babies are being murdered and these Senators were too cowardly to stand up for what they knew was right.
An F- was awarded to three Senators. Greg Treat and Kim David used their positions as the leaders of the Republican caucus to pressure other Republicans to vote against SB13. Further, they spread egregious and bizarre lies both within the legislature and to the media such as their accusations that SB13 was a secession or civil war bill. As the Senate HHS Committee Chair who denied SB13 a hearing, Greg McCortney also gets an F-. These three senators worked both publicly and behind the scenes to ensure that SB13 was not heard by the Senate and was denigrated in the media. It’s thanks to Treat, David, and McCortney, more than any others, that babies will remain vulnerable to being surgically dismembered and chemically poisoned in Oklahoma for at least another year.
The following Senators voted against hearing SB13
The following Senators abstained from voting for or against hearing SB13
The following Senators voting for hearing SB13
Clearly, the current state of things at the Capitol is unacceptable. The good news is that the paradigm is shifting. Pro-life may have seven letters, but it’s becoming something of a four-letter word as the people of Oklahoma are having their eyes opened to the fact that it’s the pro-life politicians and lobbyists who are preventing abortion from being abolished in our state.
The Abolitionist Movement is growing exponentially. This year, we had 2,500 at the capitol demanding immediate abolition. In 2019, we had 1,000. The year before that there was no rally. As Senator Silk said on stage at Abolition Day, “The game of incrementalism that we’ve been playing for 47 years is completely over in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has not passed a bill to abolish abortion yet, but what the movement has done in just a few short years, is take all the wind out of the sails of the pro-life movement and we’ve done that in a very short amount of time… When I was first elected, someone told me ‘Be careful because culture and politics change very slow. It’s like molasses.’ And that’s typically the case, but not with this movement. It’s not moving slow and it’s spreading like complete wildfire… And looking at history, a movement like this will not slow down and it actually cannot be stopped. It will continue until it accomplishes what it set out to do.”
We’re going to be back in 2021 and with more abolitionists than ever. We’re going to be educating the culture so that Oklahoma Christians know which of their Representatives and Senators support immediate abolition and which don’t, and so that those who oppose abolition will be replaced with those who will fight for it.
The effect of this paradigm shift will be abolitionists entering the legislature, but just as importantly, it will cause Senators who got an F this year to change their stance. They might not have been open to the Spirit of God or abolishing abortion because it’s the right thing to do thus far, but next year will provide another chance for them to do the right thing. And if their political careers depend on them abolishing abortion, they’ll abolish abortion. When the people of Oklahoma are abolitionists – when they are no longer fooled by the unjust incremental pro-life bills which are used as a substitute for abolition – the State legislators and executives will have to abolish abortion or lose their careers.
Stay tuned to our website and to our Facebook page for updates on abolitionist candidates. We are in the process of surveying the various people running for office in Oklahoma and will be delivering reports and endorsements as we hear back.
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