Oklahoma lawmakers cross near-total abortion ban

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Might 19 (Reuters) – Oklahoma lawmakers on Thursday gave last approval to a invoice that may ban practically all abortions and would enable personal residents to sue anybody who helps girls terminate a being pregnant.

The invoice would take impact instantly upon being signed by Republican Governor Kevin Stitt, making it essentially the most restrictive abortion ban in the US.

The Republican-backed laws bans abortion from the second of “fertilization,” making exceptions solely in instances of medical emergency, rape or incest. The invoice textual content says it doesn’t prohibit using contraception or emergency contraception.

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Belief Ladies, which operates a clinic in Oklahoma Metropolis, referred to as passage of the invoice “gratuitous and merciless.”

“Our sufferers are frightened, confused in regards to the new actuality they now dwell in,” the clinic mentioned in a press release.

The Heart for Reproductive Rights, a world advocacy group primarily based in New York, mentioned on Thursday it might problem the ban in state court docket.

Oklahoma is among the many nation’s Republican-led states dashing to cross anti-abortion legal guidelines this yr, anticipating that the U.S. Supreme Court docket will quickly overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that established the constitutional proper to abortion.

A draft opinion leaked earlier this month confirmed the court docket’s conservative majority intends to overtake federal abortion rights and ship the problem of legalization again to particular person states.

The Republican-backed legal guidelines stay weak to authorized challenges pending that ruling. A federal decide on Thursday prolonged a block on a recently-enacted in Kentucky legislation that may drive clinics to cease providing abortions till they’ll meet sure necessities. learn extra

Oklahoma Governor Stitt has mentioned he’ll signal any anti-abortion laws that reaches his desk.

The state already this month enacted a invoice that banned abortions after six weeks of being pregnant, versus fertilization. Like the newest measure, it depends on civil lawsuits to be enforced.

The enforcement provision in each payments was modeled after Texas laws, which took impact in September and stopped clinics from performing practically all abortions in that state.

Oklahoma rapidly grew to become a vacation spot for Texas girls searching for abortions after six weeks.

However the enactment of Oklahoma’s personal six-week ban this month has severely restricted abortion companies the state’s 4 clinics can present.

If signed as anticipated, the most recent invoice would increase a area of the nation the place there’s little to no authorized abortion entry, forcing sufferers to journey to states resembling Kansas, New Mexico and Colorado to finish their pregnancies.

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Reporting by Gabriella Borter; modifying by Colleen Jenkins, Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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