Oklahoma lawmakers on Tuesday, April 5, approved a bill that will make abortion illegal in the state, except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk and will penalize those who break the law with jail time, according to Fox News.
The law that will make abortion a felony was enacted with an undisputed 70 to 14 support in the Republican-controlled Oklahoma House of Representatives. The bill had passed the state Senate last year and is now awaiting Governor Kevin Stitt’s signature.
When the bill becomes law, the practice of abortion, “except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency,” will be punishable by up to a $100,000 fine and 10 years in prison. Still, the penalty is only for the doctor and not the pregnant woman.
“From my first day in office, protecting the unborn has been one of my top priorities,” said Republican state Sen. Nathan Dahm after the legislation passed, according to Tulsa World.
“Senate Bill 612 is the strongest pro-life legislation in the country right now, which effectively eliminates abortion in Oklahoma,” added Dahm. Dahm is a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Other bills are being addressed in the state legislature similar to that in Texas, which, in addition to banning all abortions, would allow private lawsuits against those who perform abortions and those who aid or abet a woman to have an abortion.
Republican lawmakers in other states, including Tennessee and Missouri, have been quick to introduce similar bills. The Arkansas proposal goes beyond Texas’s six-week limit and would ban abortions at any stage of pregnancy, except when the mother’s life is at risk.
While Florida, West Virginia, Kentucky and Arizona already made abortions illegal after 15 weeks, and Idaho pushed for tighter restrictions, banning abortions after six weeks.
On the other hand, the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to uphold a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks. If so, the ruling could end Roe v. Wade, the controversial judgment that legalized abortion throughout the United States in 1973, something that keeps pro-lifers across the country hopeful.