Thursday, September 21, 2023

Oklahoma’s new six-week abortion ban, explained

Must read

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma on Thursday passed a bill banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy and before many even know they are pregnant.

The Oklahoma Heartbeat Act will go into effect immediately once Governor Kevin Stitt signs the bill, which is expected as early as Friday. Stitt has pledged signing anti-abortion law who comes to his desk and has previously described himself as America’s”most pro-life governor

Earlier this month, Oklahoma passed another bill that would almost completely bans abortion except in cases where the life of the pregnant woman is in danger. Under that law, anyone who performs an abortion risks up to 10 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. It will take effect in August unless the courts prohibit it.

The new bill, which passed without debate or questions, is modeled on a Texas law that came into effect last year. There are exceptions for cases where the life of the pregnant person is in danger, but not for cases of rape, incest or fetal conditions that make life after birth untenable. It also imposes additional reporting requirements on physicians and allows individuals to seek civil fines, including at least $10,000 in damages, against anyone assisting or performing an abortion after the six-week term. That’s designed to get around current legal restrictions on the government’s ability to go after abortion providers.

“It’s identical to the bill passed by the Texas legislature last year, and that bill was approved by the United States Supreme Court,” said Tony Lauinger, president of Oklahomans for Life, told the AP† (However, the Supreme Court never held a full hearing on the bill and only dismissed a case challenging the bill in a short order without explaining its reasoning.)

“We are hopeful that this bill will also save the lives of more unborn children here in Oklahoma,” Lauinger added.

proponents of abortion challenged the bill in the Oklahoma Supreme Court late Thursday, arguing it prevents Oklahomans from accessing constitutionally protected abortion care.

“For those who are able to scrape together the necessary funds, [the bill] will force them to leave the state to access abortion care. Others will try to arrange their own abortions without medical supervision. And many Oklahomans will have no choice but to continue their pregnancies against their will,” they write in the lawsuit.

It is the latest in a series of anti-abortion laws passed in Oklahoma and several other GOP-controlled state legislators that will make it virtually impossible to obtain a physical abortion in the state, even as the U.S. Supreme Court precedent is set in his decision from 1973 in Roe v. Wade it’s still open.

The court will rule in early July in a case expected to be adjudicated partially or completely fall over roe, which recognized a pregnant person’s fundamental right to request an abortion, but found that states can still impose restrictions on the procedure in the service of protecting the health of the pregnant woman and the potential life of a fetus once outside the womb can survive. But even if the court doesn’t fall roe deer, the last law in Oklahoma will likely still apply as legal challenges to the parallel law in Texas have failed

Many Texans have flocked to Oklahoma abortion clinics after their state’s heartbeat law went into effect in September. There are only four such facilities in the entire state of Oklahoma, where demand has skyrocketed since then.

Trust Women — which operates an Oklahoma City clinic that offers medication and surgical abortions up to the current legal limit of 21.6 weeks — says the number of patients has increased by 2,500 percent. Although the clinic has doubled the number of days of the week it opens from two to four, patients may still have to wait two to four weeks for an abortion, sometimes forcing them to travel to other states if it gives them more time. period when it is legal to have an abortion in Oklahoma.

The passing of the Oklahoma Heartbeat Act will make it even harder to meet that demand.

“Planned Parenthood Great Plains providers have served thousands of Texans over the past seven months because of their state’s harsh bounty hunting program, and we’re proud to stand by them and provide essential, constitutionally protected abortion services,” Emily Wales, Interim President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said in a statement. “Now, instead of serving as a haven for patients who cannot receive care at home, Oklahoma politicians have banned their own people.”

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article