- Abortion will now be a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison in Oklahoma.
- Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill banning almost all abortion except in the case of medical emergencies.
- The bill will go into effect this summer.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law that would ban nearly all abortions in the state, the Associated Press reported.
The bill, SB 16 was passed by lawmakers last week. Anyone convicted of performing an abortion would face up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. The law exempts abortions in the case of medical emergencies.
S.B.16 would go into effect this summer unless it’s overturned by the courts.
GOP Sen. Nathan Dahm. called the bill the “strongest pro-life legislation in the country right now, which effectively eliminates abortion in Oklahoma,” the AP reported.
Forbes reported that lawmakers are also preparing to pass HB 4327, a bill that also bans abortions except in the case of medical emergencies, but would take place immediately after Stitt signs it. This means if one bill gets blocked by the courts, another would still be in effect.
Abortion activists told the Associated Press the move is unconstitutional.
“It has never been more obvious that politicians are using tricks and games to pass these harmful laws,” Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, an obstetrician and gynecologist in Texas and Oklahoma and a board member at Physicians for Reproductive Health told the AP. “Oklahoma legislators are trying to ban abortion from all sides and merely seeing which of these dangerous, shameful bills they can get their governor to sign.”
Oklahoma’s abortions ban comes as Republican states across the country move to ban abortions. Last year, Texas passed SB 8, a law banning abortions after 6 weeks, before most people know they’re pregnant.
Following Texas’ abortion ban, Oklahoma became a popular destination for Texans seeking an abortion after six weeks.
SB 8 also allowed private citizens to wage lawsuits against those who have or perform an abortion. Oklahoma’s HB 4327 is mirrored after Texas’ law, Forbes reported.