Oklahoma’s governor has signed legislation making it a felony to have an abortion in the state.
“A person shall not purposefully perform or attempt to perform an abortion except in an emergency situation in which a pregnant woman’s life is in danger.” That’s according to Senate Bill 612.
“Performing or attempting to perform an abortion is a felony punishable by a fine not exceeding One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000), or imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than ten years, or both.”
“I made a commitment to Oklahomans that I would sign every pro-life legislation that comes across my desk, and today is the day I keep that promise,” Republican Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said after signing the bill Tuesday.
Oklahoma’s new legislation follows on the heels of a spate of Republican-led state governments passing restrictive abortion laws in anticipation of the court case Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which the justices may reverse Roe v. Wade and return control over abortion policy to the states.
“From my first day in office, one of my top priorities has been to protect the unborn,” said state Sen. Nathan Dahm, the bill’s author, who is now running for Congress. “ Senate Bill 612 is the strongest pro-life legislation in the nation right now, which effectively ends abortion access in Oklahoma.”
“The Declaration of Independence states that our rights come from our creator, and that among them is the right to life, which governments are established to protect,” he continued. “It is long past time for the government of Oklahoma to defend the right to life.”
“Those of us in elected office have a duty to protect the rights of our citizens,” said Dahm.
“No one should be allowed to take an innocent life on purpose,” he added. “Senate Bill 612 protects life from the moment of conception and will put a stop to the killing of unborn babies and the massacre that has been happening in our state for decades as a result of abortion.”
Abortion advocates criticized the legislation, alleging that pro-life lawmakers were attempting to endanger women by passing it.
“It’s never been more obvious that politicians are employing ruses and deceptions to pass these hazardous laws,” said abortionist Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, according to the AP. “Oklahoma lawmakers are attempting to ban abortion on all sides in order to see which of these shameful, dangerous bills they can get their governor to sign.”
The bill, which was passed by the state Senate in April and the House in May with broad support, is set to go into effect this summer unless it is halted by the courts.
“Oklahoma has some of the nation’s most comprehensive protections for unborn babies and their mothers, which may save as many as 3,800 lives each year,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement while praising Stitt’s “courageous leadership.”
“The Dobbs Supreme Court case might finally liberate pro-life Americans and their elected representatives to save millions of lives across the country from the horrors of abortion,” she concluded. “The stakes have never been higher, but states like Oklahoma demonstrate that life is winning in America, and the people are eager to update our laws.”