Oklahoma bill banning nearly all abortions goes to governor’s desk
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The Oklahoma legislature passed a law on Thursday banning all abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life.
Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt has indicated that he will sign the bill, which will immediately go into effect.
The bill bans any procedures that “cause the death of an unborn child,” which it defines as a “human fetus or embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.”
In cases of rape or incest, the crimes must be reported to law enforcement.
Contraception will still be legal under the new law.
“It does not include the use, prescription, administration, procuring, or selling of Plan B, morning-after pills, or any other type of contraception or emergency contraception,” the bill says.
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Planned Parenthood condemned the bill on Thursday and promised to challenge the law in court.
“This ban will take effect as soon as the governor signs the bill, making Oklahoma the first state to outlaw abortion entirely — even while Roe v. Wade still stands,” the organization said in a statement on Twitter. “[Planned Parenthood] and partners are taking Oklahoma to court.”
It’s the latest in a slew of laws the Oklahoma legislature has passed restricting abortions this year.
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Gov. Stitt already signed a Texas-style ban that prohibits abortions after cardiac activity can be detected in the embryo, which is around six weeks. It also allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a woman acquire an abortion for up to $10,000.
Another bill signed by the governor that is set to take effect later this year will make performing abortion a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
A leaked draft opinion by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito indicates that as many as six of the high court’s nine justices are on board with overturning Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide 50 years ago.
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Oklahoma is one of several GOP-controlled states that have passed laws restricting abortions in anticipation of that ruling.
The Supreme Court has confirmed the authenticity of the leaked opinion, but it is just a draft and could change before a final ruling is issued.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.