Oklahoma governor signs strictest abortion ban in America
It is stricter than the one in Texas.
Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt has signed a new abortion law into place, now making it the strictest in the US.
Stitt has now made it law to effectively end the availability of the procedure, the first state in the USA to do so.
State politicians have approved the ban which was enforced by civil lawsuits rather than criminal prosecution, similar to what happened in Texas last year.
The law is set to take effect immediately and will prohibit all abortions with few exceptions.
Abortion providers in Oklahoma will stop performing them 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 Republican governor 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.”
“The impact will be disastrous for Oklahomans,” Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst for the abortion-rights supporting Guttmacher Institute told AP.
“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.”
This new bill is part of the push for states to dial back on abortion rights led by Republican states.
This comes after a leaked draft opinion from the high court suggested that they are considering weakening or overturning the landmark Roe v Wade decision that legalised abortion almost 50 years ago.
The only exceptions when it comes to the Oklahoma law is to save the life of a pregnant person or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest and has been reported to the police.
The bill also authorises doctors to remove "a dead unborn child caused by spontaneous abortion", and also allows them to remove a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.