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Oklahoma Lawmakers Pass the Nation’s Strictest Abortion Law, Banning Abortion After ‘Fertilization’

Oklahoma Lawmakers Pass the Nation’s Strictest Abortion Law, Banning Abortion After ‘Fertilization’

A new bill passed by Oklahoma lawmakers effectively bans nearly all abortion in the state. Now it’s headed to Governor Kevin Stitt, who is expected to sign. It will be the nation’s strictest abortion law, banning abortion after fertilization.

It’s part of Stitt’s broader plan to make Oklahoma “the most pro-life state in the country.” Just two weeks ago, he signed a law similar to the Texas bill, banning abortions in the state after six weeks and allowing citizens to bring lawsuits against anyone who performs, induces or aids someone else in procuring an abortion. However, the new bill is far more sweeping.

This bill bans abortion from the moment sperm touches the egg. The emergency contraceptive pill Plan B is still permitted under the bill, which also exempts procedures that will “remove a dead unborn child caused by spontaneous abortion” and procedures to remove ectopic pregnancies. The bill will make exceptions for procedures “necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency” and pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest, as long as they have been reported to police.

“There is no higher principle than the protection of innocent life,” said Oklahoma state Rep. Jim Olsen during a fierce floor debate. “Innocent, unborn life.”

Oklahoma’s new bill does not violate Roe v. Wade, since it relies on citizen enforcement. Although the leaked Supreme Court decision would overturn Roe if passed down, Oklahoma is one of several states that have utilized this loophole to pass their own restrictive abortion bills that work around the landmark 1973 decision.

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