Oklahoma governor signs nation’s strictest abortion ban

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Wednesday signed into legislation the nation’s strictest abortion ban, making the state the primary within the nation to successfully finish availability of the process.

State lawmakers accredited the ban enforced by civil lawsuits moderately than prison prosecution, just like a Texas legislation that was handed final yr. The legislation takes impact instantly upon Stitt’s signature and prohibits all abortions with few exceptions. Abortion suppliers have mentioned they’ll cease performing the process as quickly because the invoice is signed.

“I promised Oklahomans that as governor I might signal every bit of pro-life laws that got here throughout my desk and I’m proud to maintain that promise immediately,” the first-term Republican mentioned in an announcement. “From the second life begins at conception is when we’ve a accountability as human beings to do every part we are able to to guard that child’s life and the lifetime of the mom. That’s what I consider and that’s what nearly all of Oklahomans consider.”

Abortion suppliers throughout the nation have been bracing for the chance that the US Supreme Courtroom’s new conservative majority would possibly additional limit the observe, and that has particularly been the case in Oklahoma and Texas.

“The impression will likely be disastrous for Oklahomans,” mentioned Elizabeth Nash, a state coverage analyst for the abortion-rights supporting Guttmacher Institute. “It can even have extreme ripple results, particularly for Texas sufferers who had been touring to Oklahoma in massive numbers after the Texas six-week abortion ban went into impact in September.”

Abortion Restrictions Oklahoma
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks in April 2022 after signing into legislation a invoice making it a felony to carry out an abortion, punishable by as much as 10 years in jail.

Sue Ogrocki / AP


The payments are a part of an aggressive push in Republican-led states to cut back abortion rights. It comes on the heels of a leaked draft opinion from the nation’s excessive court docket that implies justices are contemplating weakening or overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade resolution that legalized abortion practically 50 years in the past.

The one exceptions within the Oklahoma legislation are to save lots of the lifetime of a pregnant lady or if the being pregnant is the results of rape or incest that has been reported to legislation enforcement.

The invoice particularly authorizes medical doctors to take away a “useless unborn little one brought on by spontaneous abortion,” or miscarriage, or to take away an ectopic being pregnant, a probably life-threatening emergency that happens when a fertilized egg implants outdoors the uterus, typically in a fallopian tube and early in being pregnant.

The legislation additionally doesn’t apply to the usage of morning-after tablets similar to Plan B or any kind of contraception.

Two of Oklahoma’s 4 abortion clinics already stopped offering abortions after the governor signed a six-week ban earlier this month,

With the state’s two remaining abortion clinics anticipated to cease providing companies, it’s unclear what’s going to occur to girls who qualify below one of many exceptions. The legislation’s creator, State Rep. Wendi Stearman, says medical doctors will likely be empowered to resolve which girls qualify and that these abortions will likely be carried out in hospitals. However suppliers and abortion-rights activists warn that making an attempt to show qualification might be troublesome and even harmful in some circumstances.

Along with the Texas-style invoice already signed into legislation, the measure is considered one of at the least three anti-abortion payments despatched this yr to Stitt.

Oklahoma’s legislation is styled after a first-of-its-kind Texas legislation that the US Supreme Courtroom has allowed to stay in place that enables non-public residents to sue abortion suppliers or anybody who helps a lady get hold of an abortion. Different Republican-led states sought to repeat Texas’ ban. Idaho’s governor signed the primary copycat measure in March, though it has been quickly blocked by the state’s Supreme Courtroom

The third Oklahoma invoice is to take impact this summer time and would make it a felony to carry out an abortion, punishable by as much as 10 years in jail. That invoice comprises no exceptions for rape or incident.

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