An Oklahoma lawmaker pushing a bill that would more-or-less ban abortion in the state dismissed concerns that the legislation would drag the cash-strapped state into a costly legal battle by suggesting God would take care of the state’s financial issues.
“Everybody talks about this $1.3 billion deficit,” state Rep. David Brumbaugh (R) said during Thursday evening’s deliberations of the bill, before invoking a saying he said a friend told him.
“If we take care of the morality, God will take care of the economy,” he said.
The Oklahoma state House ultimately passed the legislation, which had already been approved by the state Senate. The bill would revoke the medical licenses of any abortion provider that conducted an abortion unless the woman’s health was in danger or she had suffered a miscarriage. Abortion providers could also face felony charges that could carry a sentence of up to three years in prison.
The legislation will return to the Oklahoma Senate one more time for lawmakers to approve the House’s amendments before it heads to the desk of Gov. Mary Fallin (R), who has not yet indicated whether she intends to sign it, according to Reuters.
Abortion rights groups warned that the legislation is unconstitutional and that it could invite a legal challenge if signed into law. A 2011 Oklahoma law that essentially banned drug-induced abortion was ruled unconstitutional by the state’s Supreme Court.
“I’ve heard almost every argument today about judicial challenge to this legislation and after much prayer and study, I ask myself this question,” Brumbaugh said. “Do we make laws because they’re moral and right, or do we make them based on what an unelected judicial occupant might question or overturn?”
He compared passing the abortion legislation in the face of a possible legal challenge to the abolition of slavery, the Civil Rights Act and the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
“Don’t let people tell you, ‘Unconstitutional arguments, Roe v. Wade,’ all this,” Brumbaugh said, referencing the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.