Full text of Senator Joseph Silk’s letter (in case of problems loading the page):
Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Joseph Silk
Senate District 5
February 22, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Senator Joseph Silk
State Capitol: (405) 521-5614
Weekly Review by Senator Joseph Silk
As many people are aware, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) recently published a
letter stating their opposition to Senate Bill 13, or the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act. If enacted, this
legislation would bring an immediate end to abortion in Oklahoma. Being not only a Southern Baptist myself,
but also a dedicated follower of Christ, I was appalled by what the BGCO leadership outlined in the letter,
especially since I personally met with members of their leadership and explained everything I am containing in
this letter before they issued their stance.
For anyone who is rightfully still grappling with the shock that BGCO would oppose the ending of
abortion in Oklahoma, I am addressing each objection found in their letter below to help bring the truth into
1. SB 13 will be invalidated by the courts and will therefore never go into effect.
That is false. The provisions of SB 13 specifically reserve the right and duty of the state of Oklahoma to
uphold the Constitution and protect life regardless of a negative Supreme Court opinion. This objection not only
shows a misunderstanding of the bill by the BGCO, but also a complete lack of understanding of how our
republic is supposed to operate. The state does not need the permission of the courts to protect innocent children
from murder. It is shocking that the BGCO leadership hinges their support of legislation on whether the courts
will agree, instead of whether it is moral and just.
2. SB 13 unnecessarily repeals “pro-life” legislation that has been passed and signed into law.
The “pro-life” legislation that the BGCO is so proud and protective of is the very legislation that is
keeping abortion legal in Oklahoma. If Oklahoma wants to end abortion and protect all human life, we cannot
retain the exceptions that these “pro-life” laws offer. We are either an abortion-free state or a state that simply
regulates abortion. If Roe v. Wade were overturned today, abortion would still be legal in Oklahoma until we
repeal all the “pro-life” laws and criminalize abortion.
3. SB 13 repeals Oklahoma law that only allows abortion to save the life of the mother.
This is the weakest, most flawed argument of them all. SB 13 defines life beginning at conception and
offers equal protection for all life. The ancient statute they are referring to has not been enforced in over 45
years and cannot be because it conflicts with the “pro-life” legislation that has been passed over the years. SB
13 updates the language of protecting life and makes it an enforceable law.
4. The BGCO leadership states in its letter that there are more proven and plausible life-saving
policies that Oklahoma could enact.
This is just a blanket statement that looks good on paper but offers no solutions. It is interesting that they
list no “better policies”. The only way to end abortion is to abolish it and stop with the failed
incremental/regulation policies. The BGCO may be referring to other pro-life legislation that they have enacted
over the years that, instead of ending abortion, has resulted in approximately 5000 “legal abortions” that were
performed in Oklahoma last year.
My office has received multiple phone calls from Southern Baptists from across the state who are
shocked, confused, and infuriated over the BGCO leadership’s active opposition of the Abolition of Abortion in
Oklahoma Act. One of those who reached out to me very emotionally stated, “There are no words.”
Will we, the body of Christ in Oklahoma be content to stand by and allow innocent children to be
murdered day after day after day, or will we stand for truth and justice? Will our generation be the one that
abolishes abortion and makes it a dark spot in our history or will we be another generation that achieves nothing
as we search for more politically correct, “proven and plausible options” while 15-20 children are being
murdered every day. The BGCO could be a beacon of justice that is seen across our nation and a propellant for
the abolition movement. Instead, they have chosen to take the wide, well-trodden path that the pro-life
movement has been walking for 43 years.
The question is, what will you, your local church, and local denominational associations do? Let us not
forget the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the
wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke in the wheel itself”.