OKLAHOMA CITY – Recently, Governor Mary Fallin signed into law two significant pro-family bills that had near unanimous support from the Oklahoma Legislature.
Without much fanfare and media attention, the bills passed the Legislature by a total combined vote of 255 to 6. The first bill, House Bill 1006, provides an important tool for law enforcement in their effort to protect families against human and child trafficking. The second bill, House Bill 1721, protects children by banning the barbaric and torturous practice of dismemberment abortion in Oklahoma (Yes, it is as disturbing as it sounds.)
H.B. 1006 by Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, provides law enforcement with the ability to seek court approval for wiretap authority in cases of human/child trafficking just as law enforcement would in seeking wiretap authority in cases related to drug trafficking, terrorism or murder. Rep. Kern explained why law enforcement needed this tool saying, “Victims are afraid of their trafficker and fear for their life if they testify against their pimp. If law enforcement officers have the ability to wiretap conversations between a victim and his or her trafficker, [the victim’s] testimony may not be necessary.”
[As family breakdown continues to put families at risk, bills like H.B. 1006 are necessary but not the only needed solution.
H.B. 1721 by Rep. Pam Peterson, R-Tulsa and Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate, simply prohibits the brutal death of a pre-born child by dismemberment in the womb while still alive. It is a gruesome practice you would expect to read about while studying ancient torture practices, not a modern, 21st Century practice used on helpless, alive babies.
Rep. Peterson explained “Dismemberment abortions are a barbaric practice, where in the second trimester the unborn child is killed by tearing the arms, legs and other body parts off until the baby dies.”
Sen. Brecheen pointed out that over 1,500 pre-born children in Oklahoma were subjected to this practice this century.
Fortunately, Oklahomans have shown that they care about pre-born children not just through legislation but also through compassionate care and practical assistance. If you or someone you know might be in need of resources regarding an unplanned pregnancy, please check out these ministries:
Citizens across the state should take pride in knowing the Governor and the Legislature supported these simple but important laws to protect families.
Transforming that pride into action to help the marginalized that are to be protected by the bills, is the next step in making societal improvements that someday will make these laws obsolete.
NOTE: Tardibono is president of the Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma.