The Oklahoma legislature granted final approval to a measure that would become the most restrictive abortion ban in the U.S. if passed by the Republican governor.
On Thursday, pro-life advocates were granted one step closer to another win after Oklahoma's Legislature gave final approval to another Texas-style anti-abortion measure that providers and advocates believe will become the most restrictive across America if Gov. Kevin Stitt signs it. The bill is yet another in several measures being pushed by conservative leaders in GOP-led states across America to restrict abortion in the midst of the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade, a 1973 landmark decision that legalized aboriton in the U.S.
According to TIME, the more restrictive abortion ban in Oklahoma was penned by Collinsville Republican Rep. Wendi Stearman and would prohibit all abortions except to save the life of a pregnant women or if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest that has been reported to the authorities. the measure passed after a 73 to 16 vote, a majority of which were along party lines.
Oklahoma Braces for One of the Most Restrictive Abortion Bans in the Country
The measure to uphold a more restrictive abortion ban in Oklahoma is one of at least three anti-abortion bills that was sent this to Gov. Stitt for his signature in 2022 alone. The Republican governor had hinted at signing the bill.
In Oklahoma, another abortion ban modeled after Texas' controversial and restrictive Heartbeat Bill has already taken effect and has dramatically curbed abortion in the state. This Texas-style abortion ban prohibits the procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected in the womb, which occurs at six weeks of pregnancy, when most women are unaware of it. This summer, another anti-abortion bill will take effect, this time making it a felony to perform an abortion, with no exceptions for rape and incest. Violators will face up to 10 years in prison.
Abortion Providers Denounce Oklahoma's More Restrictive Abortion Ban
As Oklahoma draws closer to passing its more restrictive abortion ban, providers are denouncing the measure and announcing plans to challenge the measure. According to Al Jazeera, Planned Parenthood Great Plains interim president and CEO Emily Wales said that the group is "preparing for the most restrictive environment politicians can create: a complete ban on abortion with likely no exceptions." The provider had stopped offering abortions in two Oklahoma clinics after another anti-abortion bill took effect earlier this month. Wales called it the "worst-case scenario for abortion care" in the state.
Meanwhile, co-sponsor of the bill Rep. Stearman said in a statement that she hopes that the "civil liability bill will provide strong, additional protection of the life of unborn children in Oklahoma," ABC News reported. Other Republican-states such as Arizona, Kentucky and Wyoming have passed similar abortion legislation ahead of a Supreme Court decision that may overturn Roe v. Wade soon.