On the 21st of March, defending his proposed anti-abortion bill, Oklahoma state Representative, George Faught (R-Muskogee), said that even in pregnancies that result from rape or incest, “God can bring beauty from ashes.”
Faught’s bill, which would outlaw abortions sought by women based solely on a diagnosis of Down syndrome or other genetic abnormalities, passed by a wide margin on Tuesday. Oklahoma State Representative, Cory Williams (D-Stillwater), heavily criticized the Republican from Muskogee for not including an exception for pregnancies that resulted from rape and incest. The debate over the bill lasted more than two hours, and in a heated exchange between the two representatives during that time, Rep. Cory Williams (D-Stillwater) asked Faught whether rape or incest is the “will of God.” Rep. George Faught’s response said that rape and incest had nothing to do with this legislation.
Well, you know, if you read the Bible, there’s actually a couple of circumstances where that happened. And the Lord uses all circumstances.
Williams said that, because Faught is “proffering divine intervention” as the reason he will not include exceptions for rape and incest, fellow lawmakers deserve to know whether he believes that such acts, rape and incest, are God’s will.
Obviously if it happens in someone’s life, it may not be the best thing that ever happened, but, you know, 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.
Rep. George Faught’s statement has drawn harsh criticism on Twitter and Facebook.
This man, George Faught, has a daughter. Just let that sink in. pic.twitter.com/qNjGFlYQ7F
— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) March 24, 2017
@ReproRights then by his logic murder is an act of God, all religious beliefs should be kept out of law making
— Ann Weisman (@annw91377_) March 24, 2017
The bill that would create the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2017, H.B. 1549, would penalize doctors for performing abortions sought because of Down syndrome or other physical abnormalities. Punishments for doctors who perform the illegal abortions include their medical licenses being suspended or revoked and facing incredible fines: $10,000 for the first violation, $50,000 for the second, and $100,000 for the third and succeeding violations. Women who sought abortions for these reasons would not be punished.
Faught during the heated argument with Rep. Cory Williams on Tuesday said he introduced the legislation because of his belief about “protecting life.”
For me, the pressure doesn’t come from the party—it comes from my heart, and what I believe about God, and what I believe about life.
Williams tried to make his point clear in his closing argument, adding that Oklahoma’s lawmakers have repeatedly failed to address other issues, such as services for people with disabilities.
Please start doing something that is more than a bumper sticker. Do something that makes an impact. Truly I tell you, how you treat the least among us is how you’ve treated the God that you profess to worship.
Rep. Emily Virgin (D-Norman) argued that challenges such as unemployment, discrimination, and lack of services that children with Down syndrome face after they are born were far more pressing and deserving of government action than H.B. 1549, but Faught said the private sector, including community groups and ministries, are already providing services to children with Down syndrome.