'Trigger' abortion bill clears Oklahoma Senate panel

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma would automatically ban abortions if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide under a bill that has cleared a Senate panel.

While abortion opponents chanted, prayed and sang hymns outside the committee room, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 11-4 on Monday for the so-called "trigger" abortion ban . Similar bills already have passed in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Many of the abortion opponents were upset that a separate bill by Republican Sen. Joseph Silk to make abortion a felony crime was not granted a hearing.

Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat described Silk's bill as a dangerous precedent by a state to ignore a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

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