Oklahoma’s Republican-led State Legislature passed a law on Tuesday which would ban abortion in nearly every circumstance and punish physicians who perform abortions with heavy fines, jail time, or both.
The Oklahoma House voted 70-14 to pass SB 612, sending it to Gov. Kevin Stitt (R), who has previously vowed to sign “every piece of pro-life legislation” that comes across his desk, the New York Times reported. The bill bans all abortions “except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency.” The bill defines a medical emergency as “a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness or physical injury including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.”
The law would also make performing an abortion a “felony punishable by $100,000,” imprisonment for up to 10 years, or both, according to the bill’s text. Republican state Rep. Jim Olsen emphasized that “the penalties are for the doctor, not for the woman.” If Stitt signs the bill, the law will take effect on August 26, the Senate clerk’s office told the Times.
Olsen, who authored the bill, said the law was passed in “anticipation of a pending Supreme Court decision on a Mississippi law which bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy,” the report states. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is the most significant challenge in decades to the Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which declared abortion to be protected by the U.S. Constitution.
“Obviously, I’m thrilled because we have the potential of seeing many lives of babies saved — part of that depends on future court rulings,” he said, adding that the bill passed without any floor debate.
In stark contrast to a law recently passed in Colorado, which declares that unborn children at all stages have no rights and permits abortions at all stages of pregnancy, Oklahoma’s bill says that the “terms ‘abortion’ and ‘unborn child’ shall have the same meaning.”
The bill was passed as roughly 100 people protested in support of abortion outside the state’s capitol.
“These legislators have continued their relentless attacks on our freedoms,” claimed Emily Wales, interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes.
The House also passed a resolution on Tuesday designating January 22, 2022, the “Day of Tears” in Oklahoma. The legislature assigned that date because the Supreme Court “erroneously ruled” that abortion was a constitutional right in Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973. The measure encourages Oklahoma citizens to lower their flags to half-staff to “mourn the innocent, preborn children who have lost their lives due to abortion.”
“Since that ill-fated day, over sixty-one million (61,000,000) preborn children in the United States have perished,” the text states.
Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.