In the past year, several of the United States, particularly those in the southern part of the country, have been passing extremely stringent laws that all but ban the practice of abortion. The latest of these states is Oklahoma, which today passed the “Oklahoma Heartbeat Act,” which completely bans all abortions after a woman has been pregnant for at least six weeks, despite the fact that most women do not know they are pregnant by this period. The bill is now on its way to the desk of Governor Kevin Stitt, who is expected to sign it into immediate effect.
“We want Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country,” Stitt previously said when signing a previous abortion bill. “We want to outlaw abortion in the state of Oklahoma.”
This bill has been met with severe pushback from Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights, who intend to have the bill blocked. “Unless these abortion bans are stopped, Oklahomans will be robbed of the freedom to control their own bodies and futures,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. “Unless these bans are blocked, patients will be turned away, people seeking abortion will be unable to access essential care in their own communities, and their loved ones could be stopped from supporting them due to fear of being sued.”
Breaking News: Oklahoma lawmakers approved a bill banning abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. The ban would limit access for women in the state and those coming there to work around increasingly strict laws in the South. https://t.co/872uqNfohB
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 28, 2022
“Now, rather than serving as a haven for patients unable to get care at home, Oklahoma politicians have made outcasts of their own people,” said Emily Wales, interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains. “With today’s filings, we lift up the patients who will otherwise be unable to get care and ask the court to do its most essential function: honor the constitution and the individuals who need its protections.”