OKLAHOMA CITY – Domestic violence against a pregnant woman would become a felony on the first offense under legislation by Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore. Senate Bill 1046 was approved Wednesday by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The measure was previously approved by the Public Safety Committee.
Weaver said he met with domestic violence victims’ advocates this past interim and was stunned to learn that under current state law, a first conviction for domestic abuse of a pregnant woman is only a misdemeanor.
“Homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women in the United States, and the majority of victims are killed in the first trimester,” Weaver said. “I had to go look at the Oklahoma statutes for myself when I was told a first conviction for attacking a pregnant woman was only a misdemeanor, but it’s true. My bill will change that.”
Under SB 1046, anyone convicted of domestic abuse against someone they knew was pregnant at the time would be guilty of a felony on the very first offense. Currently, the punishment is up to a year in the county jail, but if Weaver’s bill becomes law, a first offense would carry a punishment of up to five years in prison.
“Oklahoma is a strong pro-life state, and I can’t think of anything more pro-life than strengthening our domestic violence laws on behalf of expectant mothers,” Weaver said.
SB 1046 will next be considered by the full Senate.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Darrell Weaver at 405-521-5569 or email Darrell.Weaver@oksenate.gov.