On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled House passed Senate Bill 612 in a 70 to 14 vote. The legislation will make performing an abortion a felony crime carrying a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a $100,000 fine, with the only exception being to "save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency."
The Oklahoma House also simultaneously approved another resolution to mourn the lives lost on January 22, which was the day the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion with Roe v. Wade in 1973. The move also comes ahead of another landmark Supreme Court case that may overturn the previous ruling later this year.
According to the New York Times, Oklahoma's law is just the latest of several anti-abortion laws passed in Republican-controlled states. Most notable was the passage of Texas' near-total abortion ban in September 2021, which criminalizes the procedure after six weeks even in cases of rape or incest, leading many Texans to travel to Oklahoma for abortions.
However, that's not the only anti-abortion legislation to be working its way through Oklahoma's legislative bodies, as House Bill 4327 will also let private citizens act as vigilantes who can file lawsuits against doctors providing abortions. It is now going to the Oklahoma Senate for approval and joins previous bills that bar women from using health insurance for abortions unless the mother's life is in danger and require mandatory counseling prior to the procedure.
Senate Bill 612 is expected to be signed into law by Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, who previously promised to approve any anti-abortion bill that comes across his desk.
Read the New York Times' entire report here.
Photo via Getty / Saul Loeb / AFP
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