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Lawmaker Defends Anti-Abortion Law by Comparing Rape and Incest Pregnancies to ‘Beauty from Ashes’

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So a lawmaker defended an anti-abortion bill by saying rape and incest were part of God’s will.

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed HB 1549 with 67 yeas to 16 nays, and an additional 16 lawmakers excused. Called the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2017, it prohibits abortions when the pregnant woman obtains the abortion “soley” because the unborn child was diagnosed with Down syndrome or another genetic abnormality. No exceptions, and even when one critic pointed out that this stops the procedure even in cases of rape or incest, the bill’s co-sponsor Rep. George Faught (R-Muskogee) defended it by saying these acts are part of Divine will.

As seen in the video above, Rep. Cory Williams (D-Stillwater), who opposed the legislation, confronted Faught on Tuesday during the debate. He asked his colleague if he believed that rape and incest were the will of God. The Republican lawmaker claimed that this didn’t have anything to do with the abortion bill, but Williams insisted.

“It’s a great question to ask,” Faught said. “And obviously if it happens in someone’s life, it might not the best thing that ever happened, but—so you’re saying that God is not sovereign with every activity that happens in someone’s life and can’t use anything and everything in someone’s life, and I disagree with that.”

Fraught latter elaborated on this in a written statement to KFOR.

“Life, no matter how it is conceived, is valuable and something to be protected,” he wrote. “Let me be clear, God never approves of rape or incest. However, even in the worst circumstances, God can bring beauty from ashes.”

That beauty and ashes bit is an apparent reference to Isaiah 61:3, which is about the alleviation of suffering.

Medical providers who violate the law would face civil liability and risk losing their Oklahoma medical license.

This bill now goes to the state senate. Expect stiff legal challenges even if it does get enacted, as the bill’s five Republican authors seem to expect. The bill’s text establishes a safety valve in case parts of it get struck down. Here’s an excerpt from Section 4, which establishes the prohibition:

“If this section is held invalid as applied to the period of pregnancy prior to being viable, then it shall remain applicable to the period of pregnancy subsequent to being viable,” it reads.

[Featured image via the Oklahoma House of Representatives]

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