© 2023 Public Radio Tulsa
800 South Tucker Drive
Tulsa, OK 74104
(918) 631-2577

A listener-supported service of The University of Tulsa
classical 88.7 | public radio 89.5
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bill allowing private citizens to sue abortion providers, other helpers passes state Senate

Sen. Julie Daniels in chamber just before session Thursday

A bill that would allow private citizens to sue most anyone who helps a woman get an abortion passed the state Senate Thursday.

In session, author Republican Julie Daniels of Bartlesville said her other abortion restriction bills have foundered, but she thinks Senate Bill 1503 is a winner because it mirrors a Texas law that has so far has not been struck down.

“The previous three bills have all been enjoined. They’re all in court. They could save lives but we cannot put them into effect because they’ve been found wanting by the judiciary. But this one we know for now actually works,” said Daniels.

Democratic Senator Julia Kirt said the law will create a surveillance state with neighbors watching neighbors. She questioned Daniels as to what proof would be needed to bring suit.

“The way that I read this, any person could bring action against a physician or a clinic based on no evidence. Is that accurate?”

Daniels replied that a person could bring action based on the "possibility" that someone had violated the provisions of the act.

The bill passed 11 to 33, with two Republicans who think the bill doesn’t go far enough in banning abortion joining Democrats in dissent. The bill will next be heard in the House.

Before joining Public Radio Tulsa, Elizabeth Caldwell was a freelance reporter and a teacher. She holds a master's from Hollins University. Her audio work has appeared at KCRW, CBC's The World This Weekend, and The Missouri Review. She is a south Florida native.