Chants filled the cold morning air outside of the State Capitol building Tuesday morning — with hundreds of people shouting “abolish abortion” or “SB 13” near the Capitol steps.
Roughly 500 people and speakers turned out to the Capitol to support Senate Bill 13, which would create the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act according to the Oklahoma Legislature website.
The Senate Bill 13 rally came after an Oklahoma County district judge ruled against having two laws on hold: a law that only allowed physicians – not nurse practitioners – to perform abortions and a law that requires all abortions to be done in person, not via telemedicine KFOR reported.
The anti-abortion or “abolition of abortion” view has been gaining steam according to those who support it.
“We’ve seen a lot of local support here,” said Joma Boyd, who came from Mississippi to work this event. “Oklahoma seems to be the greatest chance of getting it passed in the U.S.”
State Sen. Joseph Silk, R-Broken Bow, used a similar rhetoric when he spoke to the crowd.
“This movement cannot be stopped,” said Silk. “This generation will end abortion, period.”
The rally attendees were met with counter-protesters when they entered the capitol. One of those counter-protesters was Susan Braselton, a volunteer escort for an abortion clinic in Tulsa, who lead the group of around 25 counter-protesters into the Capitol.
(Our) main purpose being here is to allow women to have decisions over their bodies,” said Braselton. “To not let it be a decision of politicians (about) what is acceptable and not acceptable for a woman to choose her own health care.”
Both sides of the argument were involved in a yelling match on the second floor of the Capitol, leading state troopers to step in the middle, but the event ended with rally attendees singing hymns on the fifth floor.
The senate bill is not yet scheduled to be heard in the 2020 session.