Oklahoma legislature approves bill banning abortions at fertilization

Oklahoma legislature approves bill banning abortions at fertilization
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt shown signing Senate Bill 612, an anti-abortion bill. The Oklahoma legislature has passed the most restrictive anti-abortion bill in the nation that bans abortions at fertilization. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor/Twitter

May 19 (UPI) -- Oklahoma's legislature has approved a bill that bans almost all abortions beginning at fertilization. It would be the strictest abortion law in the country.

The bill would ban abortion entirely unless it is to save the life of the mother or to end pregnancies due to rape or incest. The rape and incest exceptions only apply if the woman reports the rape or incest to police.


The bill would use civilian enforcement allowing people to sue anybody involved in inducing or performing an abortion.

Even people who help others pay for abortions could be sued, but women who get abortions are exempt from lawsuits under the bill.

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The bill, Oklahoma House bill 4327, provides for statutory damages of not less than $10,000 plus court costs and fees against anyone performing an abortion in violation of the bill.

People can be sued under the bill for "aiding and abetting" abortions, including paying or reimbursing costs of an abortion "through insurance or otherwise."

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has already signed other anti-abortion bills, including one banning abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy modeled on a Texas law.


Oklahoma Democratic Rep. Forrest Bennett said abortion bills passed by Republicans there are based on lies, misinformation and a warped sense of right and wrong.

Planned Parenthood Action said they will take Oklahoma to court.

"This ban must be stopped -- along with the other abortion bans the state passed just last month," it tweeted.

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The Biden administration condemned the law as "the most extreme effort to undo fundamental rights we have seen to date."

The law was passed amid an effort by Republican-controlled states to restrict access to abortion, with 37 abortion such restrictions enacted this year, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

"This is part of a growing effort by ultra MAGA officials across the country to roll back the freedoms we should not take for granted in this country," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

RELATED Oklahoma House approves bill banning abortion

"They are starting with reproductive rights, but the American people need to know that other fundamental rights, including the right to contraception and marriage equality, are at risk."

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