A law protecting nearly all preborn children from abortion in Oklahoma has taken effect.
Senate Bill 612, which only allows abortion in cases of medical emergency, was signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt in April; an abortionist charged with violating the law faces up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. There are no penalties for a woman who undergoes an abortion.
“I promised Oklahomans that I would sign every pro-life bill that hits my desk and that’s what we’re doing today,” he said when signing the bill. “As governor, I represent all 4 million Oklahomans, and they overwhelmingly support protecting life in the state of Oklahoma. We want Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country. We want to outlaw abortion in the state of Oklahoma.”
Planned Parenthood quickly retaliated with an ad focused on ousting Stitt. They also promised to file lawsuits attempting to block it, though at this point, it does not appear to have done so.
Meanwhile, with Roe v. Wade overturned, abortion businesses are already reportedly deserted in Oklahoma.
State Senator Nathan Dahm, the author of the bill, celebrated that it was able to finally take effect. “Today (Friday), after almost two years of work, Senate Bill 612 is in effect,” Dahm said. “I am proud that our state did not wait for the Supreme Court but led the way and passed this law to successfully eliminate abortion in Oklahoma before Roe v. Wade was overturned.”
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement condemning the state, along with several others, for passing laws protecting preborn children.
“Today marks the latest attack against the fundamental rights of Americans as new abortion bans go into effect in Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas,” she said in a statement. “These extreme bans will criminalize abortion, in some cases without exceptions for rape or incest. These near-total abortion bans are part of a growing effort by Republican legislators to roll back the freedoms Americans have relied on for nearly half a century. Today’s radical steps take away women’s reproductive rights and put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians instead of women and their doctors, threatening women’s health and lives.”
Jean-Pierre then repeated the common baseless refrain, “Americans need to know that these and other fundamental rights, including the right to contraception and marriage equality, are at risk” — despite the fact that the Dobbs decision authored by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito stated that the ruling should not be taken to apply to anything other than abortion.
“These attempts to justify abortion through appeals to a broader right to autonomy and to define one’s ‘concept of existence’ prove too much. Those criteria, at a high level of generality, could license fundamental rights to illicit drug use, prostitution, and the like,” wrote Alito in the 6-3 majority opinion, adding, “Abortion destroys what [previous Court] decisions call ‘potential life’ and what the law at issue in this case regards as the life of an ‘unborn human being.'”
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