Oklahoma lawmakers pass near-total abortion ban

  • In Politics
  • 2022-05-19 18:06:26Z
  • By Reuters

By Gabriella Borter

(Reuters) -Oklahoma lawmakers on Thursday gave final approval to a bill that would ban nearly all abortions and would allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps women terminate a pregnancy.

The bill would take effect immediately upon being signed by Republican Governor Kevin Stitt, making it the most restrictive abortion ban in the United States.

The Republican-backed legislation bans abortion from the moment of "fertilization," making exceptions only in cases of medical emergency, rape or incest. The bill text says it does not prohibit the use of contraception or emergency contraception.

Trust Women, which operates a clinic in Oklahoma City, called passage of the bill "gratuitous and cruel."

"Our patients are frightened, confused about the new reality they now live in," the clinic said in a statement.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, a global advocacy group based in New York, said on Thursday it would challenge the ban in state court.

Oklahoma is among the country's Republican-led states rushing to pass anti-abortion laws this year, anticipating that the U.S. Supreme Court will soon overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that established the constitutional right to abortion.

A draft opinion leaked earlier this month showed the court's conservative majority intends to overhaul federal abortion rights and send the issue of legalization back to individual states.

Oklahoma Governor Stitt has said he will sign any anti-abortion legislation that reaches his desk.

The state already this month enacted a bill that banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, as opposed to fertilization. Like the latest measure, it relies on civil lawsuits to be enforced.

The enforcement provision in both bills was modeled after Texas legislation, which took effect in September and stopped clinics from performing nearly all abortions in that state.

Oklahoma quickly became a destination for Texas women seeking abortions after six weeks.

But the enactment of Oklahoma's own six-week ban this month has severely limited abortion services the state's four clinics can provide.

If signed as expected, the newest bill would expand a region of the country where there is little to no legal abortion access, forcing patients to travel to states such as Kansas, New Mexico and Colorado to end their pregnancies.

(Reporting by Gabriella Borter; editing by Colleen Jenkins and Jonathan Oatis)


More Related News

Biden warns Republicans will seek a nationwide abortion ban, arrest women who cross state lines
Biden warns Republicans will seek a nationwide abortion ban, arrest women who cross state lines

Joe Biden offers dire warning in virtual meeting with Democratic governors who have committed to protecting abortion rights.

Column: I
Column: I'm a Catholic kid who supports abortion rights - thanks to my church's catechism class

I had grown up thinking that abortion was immoral, that anyone who had one would burn in hell. But I immediately saw the film for what it was: propaganda.

Biden vows to protect abortion pill in governors meeting
Biden vows to protect abortion pill in governors meeting

President Biden met virtually with several Democratic governors on efforts to protect women's abortion access.

Kentucky's Democratic governor says it would be 'indefensible' for Biden to nominate an anti-abortion Republican to a lifetime federal judgeship

Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed the planned nomination on Thursday, and the judge that Biden plans to replace announce her retirement on Friday.

Ohio top court lets six-week abortion ban remain in effect
Ohio top court lets six-week abortion ban remain in effect

(Reuters) -The Ohio Supreme Court on Friday declined to block the Republican-led state from enforcing a ban on abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Politics