Dan Fisher wants everyone to know he is an “abolitionist.” Not as it’s traditionally understood, of course — Fisher isn’t advocating for the freeing of non-existent slaves in Oklahoma, where he’s currently running for the Republican nomination for governor.
Rather, Fisher wants to abolish something else altogether: abortion.
“I’m not just pro-life,” Fisher said in a recent campaign ad. When it comes to abortion, “I’m an abolitionist.” Or as another campaign ad says, Fisher “is the only abolitionist running for governor, and the only candidate the radical left fears.”
Fisher has made his pledge to eliminate abortions across Oklahoma the central plank of his campaign, fitting within a broader movement of self-described abortion “abolitionists.” Among the first six steps he says he’d take as governor, half deal directly with ending abortion in the state, and the remainder cover issues of state sovereignty and judicial writ.
“My first act as governor will be to restore the God-given right to life,” Fisher’s campaign website reads, specifying that he’d start by calling “an emergency special session of the Oklahoma Legislature to criminalize abortion as murder and to remove abortion from the jurisdiction of Oklahoma courts.”
As it is, Oklahoma only has a handful of clinics remaining that perform abortions, and was recently ranked No. 3 on the “Life List” from Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group.
But based on his calls to outlaw abortion outright, Fisher wants to move Oklahoma to the top of the list — and has picked up some extreme allies in his attempt.
For instance, as Right Wing Watch found, Fisher recently spoke at an anti-choice rally alongside individuals who had “advocated the death penalty for homosexuality,” as well as another extremist who had previously said that murdering abortion providers was “justifiable.” Yet another speaker compared abortion providers to Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden.
Extremism and conspiracy
While Fisher, who says he has worked as a pastor for decades, seems to have some sense of humor — at least when it comes to his hair — his views on abortion fit squarely with the other conspiratorial, anti-factual, and bizarre beliefs he’s embraced.
In 2015, Fisher made national waves as a state representative when he led a failed charge against AP History courses taught in Oklahoma, calling the curriculum insufficiently patriotic. He has also endorsed calling state employees “terrorists.” (Such an epithet would, presumably, extend to those Oklahoma teachers who recently led a walkout.)
For good measure, Fisher also appears to be comfortable with conspiracies about vaccination: On his website, he says he is “100% percent [sic] against forced vaccination.”
And not to be outdone by other anti-gun regulation voices, one of Fisher’s campaign ads features the candidate sauntering menacingly toward the camera with a high-powered rifle. Fisher stops, and says, “Who do you want in the governor’s office when the feds come after your guns?”
Fisher is by no means to be a lock for Oklahoma’s June 26 Republican primary. Running alongside five others for the GOP ticket — including the current mayor of Oklahoma City, Mick Cornett, and the current lieutenant governor, Todd Lamb — the Tulsa World said Fisher “may be the longest long shot in the Republican field.”
Still, Fisher appears to have supporters in Oklahoma. In an April letter to the Tulsa World, one supporter said that Fisher would “fight demonic forces feeding on the innocent blood of unborn children.” Wrote George Lewis, “This [satanic spiritual] realm, too, has a medium of exchange that fuels all of the darkness we see in this fallen world. This currency is the innocent blood of the unborn children. This perverted used of blood is what the demonic forces feed on.” The only answer to ending the satanic feeding frenzy? Electing Dan Fisher, apparently.
UPDATE (5/23/18): In an emailed statement to ThinkProgress, Fisher said he would consider women who seek abortion as accomplices to murder. “Abortionists do not hunt down preborn children and murder them without the permission of their parents,” Fisher wrote. “The reality is that abortion providers in our state are meeting a demand. The parents and grandparents of an unwanted child seek out an abortionist and pay him to kill their child. Sometimes other family members, friends, or a boyfriend encourage the scheme. In any other crime, would we not recognize all of these parties as accomplices?”