Oklahoma Passes Bill ACLJ Assisted with that Allows Families to File “Wrongful Death” Lawsuits Against Abortionists for Coerced or Fraudulent Abortions
In a major step forward in the fight for life, the Oklahoma legislature just passed – and the Governor just signed into law – one of the most aggressive pro-life bills in history to hold abortionists accountable for taking the lives innocent unborn babies.
The Oklahoma Senate voted 37 – 9 and the State House voted 76 – 18 in favor of Senate Bill 1728, the Unborn Person Wrongful Death Act, which allows for parents and grandparents to file lawsuits against abortionists who perform fraudulent or coerced abortions, and seek damages for mental pain and anguish, as well as monetary damages as a result of the wrongful death.
As stated by Oklahoma Sen. David Bullard (Durant), who authored the bill:
“With the passage of Senate Bill 1728, the Senate has taken a bold step in guaranteeing Oklahoma families their constitutional right to seek recourse through legal civil action to protect their families from wrongful death. Our federal and state constitutions, as well as codified statutes, guarantee every Oklahoma[n] the right to civil recourse of wrongful death,” Bullard said in a press release. “This bill will finally add the forgotten family members to this guaranteed protection and bring justice for the multitude of wronged families across the state. I want to thank my colleagues for their support in voting for this overdue protection that our citizens have long been deprived.”
The bill defines circumstances under which a wrongful death suit may be filed, including if a doctor performs an abortion on a minor without parental consent. Sen. Bullard cited a study by pro-life advocacy group, The Justice Foundation, that as many as 69% of abortions in the U.S. are performed without full legal consent. And that young mothers are sometimes illegally coerced to have abortions. In those instances, the mother or her family would have grounds under the act to sue the abortionist.
In the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the Unborn Person Wrongful Death bill was sponsored by Rep. Tom Gann, and passed overwhelmingly.
House Majority Floor Leader Rep. Jon Echols, who helped draft and advance the bill, had this to say: “Without the support of the ACLJ, this bill would not have become law. Their team worked diligently with both myself and other legislators to make sure we were able to pass this law to protect Oklahoma’s unborn.”
The ACLJ has been aggressively engaged with state legislatures across the country to protect the lives of unborn babies, including this latest pro-life bill in Oklahoma.
This move by the Oklahoma legislature and Governor is particularly encouraging at a time when pro-abortion states like Virginia are considering some of the most hideous abortion legislation we’ve ever seen, including adding a right to abortion in the state constitution, taking away medical regulations on abortion, and allowing babies who survive botched abortions to die on the operating table. And we’ve told you how some of Virginia’s pro-abortion legislators want to insert abortion as a “right” in their state Constitution. Other legislation removes key consent requirements and medical regulations on abortion.
The ACLJ took action, submitting a critical records demands under Virginia FOIA to expose who is behind this proposed legislation. Our FOIA asked for all records pertaining to the proposed amendment from its early inception. Revealing the truth behind these bills and their intentions is the most effective way we can fight them.
But victory is possible. In Maryland in March, ACLJ attorneys submitted written testimony in opposition to a bill that would have added a right to abortion to the Maryland state constitution. Our attorneys arrived to give oral testimony against the bill; but before the hearing even began, the bill’s sponsor told us they were forced to withdraw the bill due to the opposition.
Our legal team also recently filed an amicus brief to defend a pro-life law in Ohio we helped draft. Even during this pandemic, our pro-life work does not stop.
The ACLJ is currently fighting to defeat barbaric abortion legislation and defend pro-life laws in courtrooms across the nation – including at the Supreme Court. We must stop the abortion machine from tightening its grip across our country and save precious babies.