Dan Fisher is in a crowded primary for the Republican nomination to be Oklahoma’s governor, but he has the enthusiastic support of a national movement of fringe anti-abortion-rights activists thanks to his plan to criminalize abortion as soon as he takes office and ignore any court rulings that get in his way.
Last weekend, Fisher drew a crowd of fringe activists who have been promoting the ignore-the-courts anti-abortion strategy to a two-day campaign rally that he broadcast on Facebook. Matt Trewhella, an anti-choice extremist who once signed a statement calling the murder of abortion providers “justifiable” and now advocates defying court decisions on abortion rights, spoke. So did Operation Save America’s Rusty Thomas. American Vison’s Joel McDurmon, who once advocated the death penalty for homosexuality but has since said he has changed his mind, gave a speech. So did Bradley Pierce, an attorney who has been helping draft state abortion “abolition” bills.
At the rally, Fisher laid out his “plan for abolishing abortion in Oklahoma.” As soon as he takes office, he said, he will call an emergency session of the state legislature and “ask for a bill on my desk that criminalizes abortion as murder, and I’ll sign it.”
After that bill is signed, he said, he “will instruct law enforcement officials to immediately close every abortion facility in Oklahoma in accordance with their sworn oaths of office” and then “instruct those law enforcement officers that if they find someone attempting to perform or performing an abortion that next day, they’ll be arrested for attempted or committed murder.”
Next, he says, he “will ignore all court orders” regarding the abortion recriminalization and “advise Oklahoma officials to ignore any federal court summons.” Then he would “call for judicial reform which will remove the power of judicial review from the courts.”
But Fisher said his plan would start even before the general election, declaring that the moment he wins the Republican primary, “We’re going to call the White House, we’re going to set up a meeting, I am going to fly to Washington, D.C., I’m going to meet with President Trump, and I’ll say, ‘President Trump, I’m the Republican nominee for governor of Oklahoma and I’m running to abolish abortion, and you said the states ought to decide this so I want to know…are you going to stand with Oklahoma and hold off the federal hounds while we do what you know in your heart is right?”
Fisher was introduced at the rally by state Sen. Joseph Silk, who was enraged back in 2016 when a bill he had introduced that would have classified abortion as first degree murder was scuttled by party leadership and more mainstream anti-choice groups.
Silk declared that the reason his bill didn’t make it to a vote is because we as a society “don’t know how to recognize evil anymore and we don’t know who our enemy is.”
“If you use your position of authority to protect the continuation of the slaughter of unborn children, you will always be my enemy,” he told the rally. “Always. And if you use your position of authority, I don’t care what level it’s at, but if you use your position of authority to keep the abortion mills running and protected, what is that other than a very, very evil act and abuse of authority?”
“What if we treated Adolf Hitler the way we treat these abortion mills?” he continued. “What if we did that—we’re just going to regulate Nazi Germany, we’re just going to kind of tell them what they can do. We didn’t do that, we didn’t do that at all. Or what about recently, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, what if we did that? What if we tried to regulate terrorism. It would never get done. But those instances, our nation understood who our enemy is, they understood it is evil and we actually acted with tremendous force and fury and we actually stopped it. But for some reason, we can’t do that so our legislature’s having a really hard time understanding, basically, who their enemy is and then recognizing it as evil.”
Later in his speech, Silk teared up as he declared that Fisher’s campaign is “going to spark a spiritual war that this state has never seen before.”