Oklahoma approves nation’s most restrictive abortion ban – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Legislature on Thursday finally approved another Texas-style anti-abortion law that vendors say will be the most restrictive in the nation once the governor signs it into law.

The bill is part of an aggressive push in Republican-run states across the country to restrict abortion rights. It follows a leaked draft advisory opinion from the US Supreme Court that suggests judges are considering overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nearly 50 years ago.

The bill by Republican Rep. Wendi Stearman of Collinsville would ban all abortions except to save a pregnant woman’s life or if the pregnancy is the result of a rape or incest that has been reported to law enforcement.

“Is our goal to defend the right to life, isn’t it?” Stearman asked her colleagues before the bill passed by a majority 73-16 along party lines.

The bill is one of at least three anti-abortion laws sent to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt this year, who has indicated he will sign it. Another Texas-style abortion law that bans the procedure after cardiac activity can be detected in the embryo, which experts say takes about six weeks, has already enacted and has already dramatically curtailed the practice in Oklahoma. Another law, due to come into force this summer, would make performing an abortion a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. This bill contains no exceptions for rape or incest.

“At this point we are preparing for the most restrictive environment politicians can create: a total abortion ban with probably no exceptions,” said Emily Wales, interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, which stopped providing abortions to two of them clinics in Oklahoma after the six-week ban went into effect earlier this month. “It’s the worst-case scenario for abortion care in the state of Oklahoma.”

Like Texas law, Oklahoma law would allow individuals to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion. After the US Supreme Court allowed this mechanism, other Republican-led states attempted to copy Texas’ ban. Idaho’s governor signed the first copycat measure into law in March, despite being temporarily blocked by the state Supreme Court.

After Texas passed its law last year, there was a dramatic drop in the number of abortions performed in that state, with many women going to Oklahoma and other surrounding states for the procedure.

Legal challenges are pending in Oklahoma against both the law criminalizing abortion and the six-week ban in Texas, but the courts have so far stopped neither measure.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.

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https://wsvn.com/news/politics/oklahoma-approves-the-nations-most-restrictive-abortion-ban/ Oklahoma approves nation’s most restrictive abortion ban – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

James Brien

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