clearn.png
Sunday September 25th, 2022 2:05AM

Oklahoma governor signs the nation's strictest abortion ban

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Wednesday signed into law the nation’s strictest abortion ban, making the state the first in the nation to effectively end availability of the procedure.

State lawmakers approved the ban enforced by civil lawsuits rather than criminal prosecution, similar to a Texas law that was passed last year. The law takes effect immediately upon Stitt's signature and prohibits all abortions with few exceptions. Abortion providers have said they will stop performing the procedure as soon as the bill is signed.

“I promised Oklahomans that as governor I would sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk and I am proud to keep that promise today," the first-term Republican said in a statement. “From the moment life begins at conception is when we have a responsibility as human beings to do everything we can to protect that baby’s life and the life of the mother. That is what I believe and that is what the majority of Oklahomans believe."

Abortion providers across the country have been bracing for the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court’s new conservative majority might further restrict the practice, and that has especially been the case in Oklahoma and Texas.

“The impact will be disastrous for Oklahomans," said Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst for the abortion-rights supporting Guttmacher Institute. “It will also have severe ripple effects, especially for Texas patients who had been traveling to Oklahoma in large numbers after the Texas six-week abortion ban went into effect in September."

The bills are part of an aggressive push in Republican-led states to scale back abortion rights. It comes on the heels of a leaked draft opinion from the nation’s high court that suggests justices are considering weakening or overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nearly 50 years ago.

The only exceptions in the Oklahoma law are to save the life of a pregnant woman or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest that has been reported to law enforcement.

The bill specifically authorizes doctors to remove a “dead unborn child caused by spontaneous abortion,” or miscarriage, or to remove an ectopic pregnancy, a potentially life-threatening emergency that occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, often in a fallopian tube and early in pregnancy.

The law also does not apply to the use of morning-after pills such as Plan B or any type of contraception.

Two of Oklahoma’s four abortion clinics already stopped providing abortions after the governor signed a six-week ban earlier this month.

With the state’s two remaining abortion clinics expected to stop offering services, it is unclear what will happen to women who qualify under one of the exceptions. The law's author, State Rep. Wendi Stearman, says doctors will be empowered to decide which women qualify and that those abortions will be performed in hospitals. But providers and abortion-rights activists warn that trying to prove qualification could prove difficult and even dangerous in some circumstances.

In addition to the Texas-style bill already signed into law, the measure is one of at least three anti-abortion bills sent this year to Stitt.

Oklahoma's law is styled after a first-of-its-kind Texas law that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed to remain in place that allows private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion. Other Republican-led states sought to copy Texas’ ban. Idaho’s governor signed the first copycat measure in March, although it has been temporarily blocked by the state’s Supreme Court

The third Oklahoma bill is to take effect this summer and would make it a felony to perform an abortion, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. That bill contains no exceptions for rape or incest.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Boeing capsule lands back on Earth after space shakedown
Boeing's astronaut taxi has returned to Earth from the International Space Station, completing a repeat test flight with a mannequin on board
8:54PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Live updates | Onlookers urged police to charge school
A witness says onlookers urged police to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers
8:51PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Onlookers urged police to charge into Texas school
Onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers
8:33PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Biden signs policing order on anniversary of Floyd's death
President Joe Biden has signed an executive order to improve accountability in policing
7:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
Will Congress act on guns after Sandy Hook, Buffalo, Uvalde?
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has quickly set in motion a pair of firearms background check bills in response to the school massacre in Texas
7:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
'Precious individuals' taken in Texas school shooting
One student was an avid runner, so fast she swept all the races at field day
7:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Governor: Texas gunman said he was going to shoot up school
The governor of Texas says the gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school had warned in online messages minutes before the attack that he was going to shoot up a school
5:02PM ( 4 hours ago )
Beto O'Rourke disrupts news conference on shooting
Beto O’Rourke interrupted a press conference Wednesday about the shooting at a Texas elementary school and blamed Republican Gov. Greg Abbott for inaction
4:58PM ( 4 hours ago )
China wants 10 Pacific nations to endorse sweeping agreement
China wants 10 small Pacific nations to endorse a sweeping agreement covering everything from security to fisheries in what one leader warns is a game-changing bid by China to wrest control of the region
4:54PM ( 4 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Jill Biden, Murthy welcome 2nd mass delivery of baby formula
Jill Biden and the U.S. surgeon general are empathizing with parents across the country who have been scrambling to find infant formula for their children
7:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
Brazil toughens environmental fines in reaction to a lawsuit
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro signed a decree Tuesday that creates stricter rules against environmental crimes in the Amazon rainforest, such as fraud in timber licensing
6:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
'Horrifying' conspiracy theories swirl around Texas shooting
Misinformation and conspiracy theories about Tuesday's deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, began to spread online only hours after the carnage
6:35PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Live updates | Turkey makes demands on Sweden, Finland
A senior Turkish official is insisting that the nation will not agree to Sweden and Finland joining NATO unless specific steps are taken to address Ankara’s objections
3:23PM ( 5 hours ago )
A decade of congressional inaction on gun control
Democrats in Congress are trying, again, to pass legislation to expand background checks for gun buyers in the wake of the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas
3:17PM ( 5 hours ago )
Negotiator tells Congress US still trying for Iran nuke deal
The United States’ top negotiator for Iran nuclear talks has made the case to lawmakers for sticking with Iran nuclear talks
2:56PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Boeing capsule lands back on Earth after space shakedown
Boeing's astronaut taxi has returned to Earth from the International Space Station, completing a repeat test flight with a mannequin on board
8:54PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Live updates | Onlookers urged police to charge school
A witness says onlookers urged police to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers
8:51PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Onlookers urged police to charge into Texas school
Onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers
8:33PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Russia takes steps to bolster army, tighten grip on Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to strengthen his control of southern Ukraine by giving residents of two regions a fast path to Russian citizenship
8:14PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Twitter to pay $150M penalty over privacy of users' data
Twitter will pay a $150 million penalty and put in new safeguards to settle federal regulators’ allegations that the social platform failed to protect the privacy of users’ data over a six-year span
8:00PM ( 1 hour ago )