“I promised Oklahomans that as governor I’d signal each piece of pro-life laws that got here throughout my desk and I’m proud to maintain that promise at present,” Stitt stated in an announcement.
The invoice, H.B. 4327, bans abortion at fertilization and has the identical enforcement mechanism as Texas’ six-week abortion ban that went into impact final fall. The legislation defines an unborn youngster as “a human fetus or embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization till start” and went into impact instantly after signing.
The enforcement mechanism deputizes any personal citizen — even when they’re not in Oklahoma — to implement the legislation by providing a bounty to anybody who efficiently sues somebody aiding or abetting an individual in search of an abortion. The Texas-style enforcement mechanism ensures that the Oklahoma ban will seemingly efficiently skirt any future courtroom challenges, or at the very least keep in place until the Supreme Court can overturn Roe v. Wade within the coming weeks.
The legislation has exceptions when the pregnant particular person’s life is in danger, and in instances of rape or incest. The 2 latter exceptions can solely be used if these crimes are reported to police, and each crimes are extensively underreported.
“Right now’s information from the Oklahoma legislature comes amidst a slew of anti-abortion bans and restrictions throughout the nation. However this isn’t yet another ban, it isn’t one other ban ― this can be a first,” Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Nice Plains, stated on a press name when the ban passed through the state legislature earlier this month.
“Right now’s ban, which inspires bounty hunters to sue their neighbors or strangers for accessing abortion care at any stage of being pregnant, is a reversal of historical past taking place in entrance of our eyes,” Wales stated. “As soon as signed, abortion can be unlawful in Oklahoma ― full cease.”
Professional-choice advocates have argued that bans that prohibit abortion at fertilization would feasibly additionally ban contraception and the so-called morning-after capsule. The Oklahoma ban clarifies that it doesn’t apply to contraceptives, together with emergency contraception drugs like Plan B.
Oklahoma’s state legislature labored time beyond regulation this session to introduce and cross a slew of extreme and redundant anti-abortion laws. Earlier this month, Stitt signed the “Oklahoma Heartbeat Act” into legislation, which bans abortion at round six weeks and likewise makes use of the Texas-style enforcement mechanism. There aren’t any exceptions for rape or incest, and the legislation went into impact instantly after the governor signed it.
Lawmakers within the Sooner State additionally handed an unconstitutional invoice that makes performing an abortion a felony punishable by as much as 10 years in jail. Stitt not too long ago signed the invoice into legislation, and it goes into impact in August.
“There’s actually no rhyme or cause [for the redundancy of these bills] aside from a radical try to only confuse individuals, create chaos and wreak as a lot havoc as they’ll presumably do on people who find themselves in search of abortion and the suppliers who present it,” stated Rabia Muqaddam, senior authorized counsel on the Middle for Reproductive Rights.
It could actually already be extraordinarily harmful to hold a being pregnant to time period in Oklahoma. The state has one of the highest maternal mortality rates for Black individuals in all the nation.
Abortion suppliers and pro-choice lawmakers spoke to HuffPost earlier this month about how extreme restrictions in Oklahoma will devastate abortion entry within the area. Since a six-week abortion ban went into impact in September, Texans have been traveling in droves to Oklahoma to obtain abortion care. Now, Texans and Oklahomans will seemingly journey to Kansas if they’ve the sources, however Kansas solely has 4 abortion clinics left.
It’s unlikely these 4 clinics will have the ability to accommodate sufferers from Texas and Oklahoma, in addition to Kansans themselves. New Mexico and Colorado will in all probability additionally see an inflow of sufferers, however solely those that have the sources to journey longer distances.
“What makes it totally different now could be that we don’t have the backstop of america Supreme Courtroom upholding precedent,” Oklahoma Home Minority Chief Emily Virgin (D) instructed HuffPost earlier this month, referring to the 6-3 conservative majority on the excessive courtroom and the upcoming decision anticipated to overturn or intestine Roe v. Wade.
The Supreme Courtroom draft opinion that leaked earlier this month revealed the conservative majority courtroom is poised to overturn Roe in just some weeks. The information despatched pro-choice teams scrambling to protect federal abortion protections, whereas many abortion opponents took a victory lap. If Roe is overturned, 26 states will instantly ban or severely prohibit abortion.