Oklahoma Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law a law Wednesday banning abortions from the “fertilization” stage. Y allows private citizens to sue abortion providers who “knowingly” perform or induce an abortion “on a pregnant woman,” according to CNN.
HB 4327 is one of the strictest laws in the country on abortion and is a clear rebuke to the protections afforded in the landmark Roe v. Wade in 1973 that legalized abortion throughout the country.
A coalition of abortion providers and abortion rights advocates said Wednesday night they would challenge the law, which goes into effect immediately, in court and try to block it.
According to the measure, abortions are prohibited at any stage of pregnancy, except for medical emergencies or if the pregnancy was the result of rape, sexual assault, or incest and reported to the police.
“I promised Oklahomans that as governor I would sign every bit of pro-life legislation that came across my desk and I am proud to deliver on that promise today,” Stitt said in a statement.
Oklahoma governor’s signing comes as Republican-led states have pushed for stricter abortion measures in anticipation of the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade in a case involving a Mississippi abortion law.
Earlier this month, a leaked draft opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito showed that the conservative-majority court was poised to strike down the federal constitutional right to abortion.
The final opinion in the case has not been released, and votes and language may still change before then. The Supreme Court opinion is not expected to be issued until the end of June.
Although many states have so-called trigger laws on their books, which ban abortions should the high court overturn Roe, the Oklahoma bill went into effect with Stitt’s approval.
Abortion rights advocates warn that Oklahoma bans would eliminate access to abortion throughout the South and would be devastating not only to Oklahomans but also to Texans seeking abortion services.
It may interest you:
– The US Supreme Court confirms the authenticity of the leaked draft that suggests the end of abortion as a constitutional right
– What is Roe vs. Wade and why he is at the center of the political battle over abortion in the US
– Louisiana: the state where Republicans expect an abortion to be punished as homicide