Oklahoma City – The Oklahoma state legislature passed a bill Thursday that abortion advocates say once signed, it would become the most restrictive ban ever in the country.
In a 73–16 vote, state lawmakers passed House Bill 4327, which would ban all abortions in the state and be enforced by private citizens’ lawsuits against abortion providers, which could include the clinic itself where abortions were provided. as well as the doctors and staff there. There are exceptions to rape and incest in the bill, but those incidents must be reported to law enforcement. There is also an exception to the bill to save the life of the mother.
Read more: While the nation grapples with the prospects after the cry, Oklahoma is already living it, advocates say
The bill comes weeks after a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court, in which Roe v. Wade’s potential reversal, allowing states to decide whether to ban abortions. Oklahoma Republican Governor Kevin Stitt, who has pledged to sign off on all anti-abortion measures, is expected to approve the bill. Once signed, the ban will come into force with immediate effect.
Before Thursday’s vote on the measure, Rep. Cindy Munson, a Democrat from Oklahoma City, argued that the bill would result in the death of women.
“If we pass this, the women are going to die,” Munson said. “I know my Republican colleagues are not going to vote ‘no’ on the abortion ban, but I would advise you to walk away and walk away instead of killing constituents or forcing girls to carry your rapist’s child.” Am.”
On Thursday, Oklahoma lawmakers debated House Bill 4327, which would ban nearly all abortions. The measure passed in a 73-16 vote, and will now go to the governor’s desk for signing. Video by PBS NewsHour
Representative Wendy Stearman, a Republican from Collinsville and a co-sponsor of the bill, said it was her hope the bill would provide more protections for “unborn children” in Oklahoma.
“We used to debate abortion bills about whether a fetus is a person,” Stearman said. “We are now debating whether a child’s life will be difficult. Based on that logic, we should offer services to kill children by the age of 18.”
Earlier this month, Stitt signed off on a ban on abortions past six weeks of pregnancy, which left clinics in Oklahoma to reschedule patients to clinics in other states.
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Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the group will fight this latest ban in state court.
“Politicians in Oklahoma have been working toward this moment for decades,” she said in a statement after Thursday’s vote.
“below [House Bill 4327]People will be forced to travel hundreds of miles to have an abortion, and those who cannot afford to travel will be forced to give birth against their will or attempt to terminate their pregnancy. This is a cruel reality that politicians are creating for their own residents.”
Emily Wells, interim CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said two clinics in Oklahoma that provide abortions have closed for fear of potential litigation and are now responding to calls from patients confused about what to do in Oklahoma. is legal.
“It’s a devastating moment,” Wells said at a news conference after the vote. “People are asking if crying is still the law of the land and it is, but it has never been more of a threat.”
Oklahomans “feel that their decisions about their health care are being criminalized,” she said.