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Oklahoma Legislature passes bill to make it illegal to perform abortions, except in medical emergencies

On Tuesday, Oklahoma lawmakers passed a bill that would make it illegal to perform an abortion in the state except in medical emergencies, penalizing those who do with up to $100,000 in fines and 10 years in prison.

The state House of Representatives brought the bill to a vote this week, after it was passed last year by the state’s Senate. It now heads to the desk of Governor Kevin Stitt for signing, who has stated his support for anti-abortion legislation. The bill would then take effect this summer, unless blocked by courts.

Several other anti-abortion bills are making its way through Oklahoma’s legislature. Separate legislation introduced this year proposes banning almost all abortions and relying on private citizens to sue any person who “aids or abets” abortions, similar to Texas’ six-week abortion ban. The measure approved on Tuesday states, “a person shall not purposely perform or attempt to perform an abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency.”

Oklahoma has become a destination for Texas women seeking abortions, since Texas in September banned abortions for pregnancies of six weeks or less.

Editorial credit: Alonzo J. Adams / Shutterstock.com

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