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Oklahoma Governor Signs Sweeping Anti-Abortion Legislation into Law

On Monday, Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt signed three anti-abortion bills into law, making abortion in Oklahoma nearly impossible to access.

HB 2441 is a “heartbeat” bill, which prohibits abortion once a “fetal heartbeat” has been detected. It only makes exceptions for cases where the mother’s life is in danger. Any provider who performs an abortion after a “fetal heartbeat” is detected would be charged with homicide. This measure essentially outlaws abortion after 6 weeks, often before the person is even aware of the pregnancy.

HB 1102 classifies the performance of an abortion as “unprofessional conduct” and revokes the medical license of any provider who performs an abortion for any reason other than to save the life of the pregnant person.

HB 1904 requires all abortion providers in the state to be board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology. All three are set to take effect November 1of this year.

Together the three pieces of legislation make receiving an abortion in the state of Oklahoma almost impossible. The legislation will face legal challenges in court, most likely preventing it from taking effect in November.

Anti-abortion state legislators across the country have been ramping up the passage of similar bills in dozens of states. Anti-abortion advocates hope that the bills will form the basis of a legal challenge that will work its way to the now majority conservative Supreme Court and will eventually overturn Roe v. Wade. According to a report from Planned Parenthood that was released in March, 516 abortion restrictions have been introduced this year versus 304 in 2019.

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