Two of the state’s four abortion clinics already stopped providing abortions after the governor signed a six-week ban earlier this month, and an attorney for the two other independent clinics said they will no longer offer services once the bill is signed. The bill is likely to reach Gov. Kevin Stitt’s desk early next week, and the first-term Republican running for reelection has already said he would sign any anti-abortion bill the Legislature sends to him. It would take effect immediately after he signs it.
All four Oklahoma abortion businesses will stop killing babies once Governor Kevin Stitt signs the new Oklahoma abortion ban early next week.
As LifeNews reported today, Oklahoma legislature has passed a ban on abortions, protecting babies starting at conception. The measure is a Texas-style law that includes a private right of action as enforcement — but instead of protecting babies at six week when their heartbeat can be detected, it starts protecting unborn children at conception when their life begins.
The Texas abortion ban is a unique law that has been on the books for over 260 days and saved as many as 17,000 babies from abortions.
The House voted 78-19 to pass the bill previously and today the chamber gave final approval to the measure after minor changes from the Senate. After the 73-16 vote it will not head to Governor Kevin Stitt’s desk and the pro-life governor will sign it into law.
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And that’s when the state’s four abortion businesses will stop killing babies, according to local news reports:
“This bill could go into effect at any time, and once it does, any person can sue the clinic, the doctors, anyone else who is involved in providing an abortion in Oklahoma,” said Rabia Muqaddam, an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Oklahoma clinics in legal challenges against several proposed new anti-abortion laws.
Oklahoma could see a legal challenge to the law in a desperate attempt to prevent it from saving babies from abortion, although similar pro-abortion legal challenges have failed at both the Supreme Court and the Texas Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, despite false claims being peddled by aboriton activists, the bill will not ban contraception or IVF:
The bill also does not apply to the use of Plan B, morning-after pills or any other type of contraception.
Because the bill defines an “unborn child” as a human fetus or embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization until birth, it is not expected to apply to in vitro fertilization, which is when eggs are fertilized in a lab before being transferred into a woman’s uterus, said Dr. Eli Reshef, an Oklahoma City fertility specialist.
“(The bill) does not criminalize what we do,” Reshef said. “No matter one’s position on abortion, we are not concerned about the bill harming our particular profession.”
This is the second Texas-style law the legislature approved this session as it already had signed off on one that starts the abortion ban at 6 weeks when the baby’s heart can be detected. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed that pro-life law. Oklahoma is passing a number of state laws banning abortions so it can attempt to ban abortions now with a Texas-style law and also have abortion bans on the books ready to go when Roe is overturned as is expected next month.
“Is our goal to defend the right to life or isn’t it?” Collinsville Republican Rep. Wendi Stearman, who sponsored the bill, asked her colleagues.
“This is an opportunity to save more Oklahomans. I hope that we see a good decision out of the U.S. Supreme Court, but we can’t wait around for that,” Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat told the committee, Fox 23 News reports. “We need to save unborn life.”
Oklahoma will be the third state to have passed such a law, following Texas and Idaho. Although the Texas law has survived pro-abortion lawsuits and been affirmed at both the Supreme Court and the Texas Supreme Court, the Idaho law has been put on hold while the lawsuit agaisnt it continues. In a decision earlier this month, the Oklahoma Supreme Court declined to block the law.
That measure, Senate Bill 1503, makes it so abortionists are prohibited from killing babies in abortions and, instead of a criminal enforcement by state or local officials, the law allows private individuals to file a civil lawsuit against abortionists or those helping abortionists to end the life of the unborn child.
The bill would also allow private citizens to bring a civil lawsuit against a person who performs or induces an abortion, intends to perform an abortion, or knowingly aides or abets an abortion such as paying for the procedure. Under the measure, relief would include at least $10,000 in statutory damages for each abortion the defendant performed or aided in violation of the act, legal fees, and compensatory damages.
The bill would prohibit civil action from being brought against certain individuals, including the woman who had the abortion or sought the procedure. The proposal would not allow a person who impregnated a woman through rape, sexual assault or incest to bring a civil action.
SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser praised Stitt and Oklahoma lawmakers, saying: “Unborn babies are human beings, with beating hearts by six weeks. From this day forward, as many as 3,800 unborn children a year and their mothers are safe from abortion in Oklahoma. Americans overwhelmingly support commonsense abortion limits that save lives and want to rein in pro-abortion extremism. We are so grateful to Governor Stitt, Sen. Julie Daniels and all our Sooner State allies who worked tirelessly to enact some of the nation’s most protective pro-life laws. With millions of lives at stake in the Dobbs case and pro-abortion Democrats threatening to impose abortion on demand until birth at any cost, leadership like theirs is vital to ensure the voice of the people is heard.”
Stitt signed a full abortion ban earlier this month but that ban is not expected to be able to be enforced as the Texas-style law would be — at least until Roe is overturned.
About 4,000 unborn babies are aborted every year in Oklahoma, according to state health statistics.
All across the country, state lawmakers have introduced hundreds of pro-life bills this year in anticipation that the Supreme Court could overturn Roe this summer. Since 1973, states have been forced to legalize abortions without limits up to viability, and more than 63.5 million unborn babies have been killed.
The Guttmacher Institute estimates 26 states “are certain or likely to ban abortions” if the Supreme Court gets rid of Roe. And researchers estimated that abortion numbers would drop by about 120,000 in the first year and potentially even more in subsequent years if the high court allows states to ban abortions again.