Ok so. Lawmakers approve bill to make abortion illegal

The Oklahoma House overwhelmingly passed a Republican bill on Tuesday that would make abortion illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The vote was 70 to 14 after lawmakers added it to the agenda Monday night, taking some by surprise. There was little discussion or debate.

The bill, which passed the Senate last year, would make abortion a crime. Anyone convicted faces up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. The measure is headed for Governor Kevin Stitt (R), who has signaled his openness to signing anti-abortion legislation.

If not blocked by the courts, the bill is expected to take effect this summer when the Oklahoma legislature adjourns. Unlike several other abortion bans proposed in Oklahoma this session, it does not include the emergency clause that allows a bill to take effect as soon as it is signed by the governor.

The bill’s future will likely hinge on a Supreme Court ruling expected this summer, when justices rule on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban in a case that could overturn or roll back. in a significative way. Roe vs. Wadethe landmark 1973 decision that guaranteed the right to abortion nationwide.

Tracking New Measures Regarding Abortion Legislation in States

Since September, when Texas banned abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, patients from Texas have been traveling to Oklahoma for abortion care. The state treated about 45 percent of Texas patients who left the state for abortion, more than any other state, according to a recent study from the University of Texas at Austin.

“A state of emergency exists in Oklahoma,” said Senate Speaker Greg Treat (right), denouncing the number of abortions performed in Oklahoma in recent months. “It’s disgusting.”

The Oklahoma legislature has done everything possible to restrict abortion in the state, Treat said. Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate have backed several abortion bans this session, including two inspired by Texas law. Those two bills, both of which passed a house, could still move forward and make it to the governor’s office.

If Oklahoma stops offering abortions, women in Texas and Oklahoma will have to request the procedure in Arkansas, Kansas or New Mexico, where clinics are already full, scheduling appointments in two at four weeks.

Unlike several other abortion bans proposed in Oklahoma this session, the bill making abortion illegal does not include the unique enforcement strategy behind the Texas abortion ban, which allows citizens deprived of enforcing the law through civil suits.

Called for comment Tuesday afternoon, Oklahoma abortion providers had no idea the bill had passed.

“Are you serious?” asked Andrea Gallegos, an administrator who works at the Tulsa Women’s Clinic, one of four abortion providers in the state. “Oh my God.”

The bill passed as more than 100 abortion rights advocates gathered at the Oklahoma Capitol for a “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally, voicing their opposition to proposed abortion bans. this session.

“They introduced the bill in session and voted on it in the time it took to organize our rally,” said Olivia Cappello, press secretary for state media campaigns at Planned Parenthood.


Washington

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