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Oklahoma Lawmakers Pass Bill That Nearly Bans “All” Abortions In The State

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Oklahoma lawmakers have passed a bill that would prohibit abortions in the state almost entirely. The bill criminalizes abortion in practically all circumstances except where it is necessary to “save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency.”

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Medical workers found guilty of violating the legislation face up to $100,000 in penalties and ten years in prison. It comes as the US Supreme Court considers a case that might result in the abolition of abortion rights nationwide later this year. Oklahoma’s House of Representatives, which is controlled by Republicans, voted 70 to 14 to submit the bill to the governor’s office.

Governor Kevin Stitt of the state will be presented with the measure for approval. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has already vowed to signing any legislation restricting abortion rights into law.

Republican Rep. Jim Olsen, the bill’s sponsor, expressed delight at its passage and stated that the act might result in “many lives of babies being saved.”

However, pro-choice groups believe the bill is a terrible blow to women, adding that it comes after the state became a key destination for women seeking abortions from neighboring Texas last year after the state passed severely tight abortion restrictions.

“Nearly half of the patients seen by Oklahoma clinicians are medical refugees from Texas,” a coalition of pro-choice organizations stated. “Now, Oklahomans may face a future in which they may have no place to obtain this essential health care in their state.”

According to Tamya Cox-Toure, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, the bill serves as a “alarming reminder that the days of safe and legal abortion may be limited, and we must continue to work to ensure all people have access to necessary health care, including abortion.”

Republican-led legislatures have passed a slew of draconian abortion measures in recent years, ostensibly to set up a fight before the conservative-leaning Supreme Court.

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The court is scheduled to rule by the end of June on a case involving a Republican-backed Mississippi statute that threatens to invalidate the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling legalizing abortion under federal law.

 

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