Oklahoma Governor Signs Texas-Style Ban On Most Abortions

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a Texas-style termination prohibition connected Tuesday that prohibits abortions aft astir six weeks of pregnancy, portion of a nationwide propulsion successful GOP-led states hopeful that the blimpish U.S. Supreme Court volition uphold caller restrictions.

Stitt’s signing of the measure comes connected the heels of a leaked draught opinion from the nation’s precocious tribunal that it is considering weakening oregon overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade determination that legalized termination astir 50 years ago.

The measure Stitt signed takes effect instantly with his signature, but termination rights advocates already person challenged the caller instrumentality successful court. It’s not wide erstwhile the Oklahoma Supreme Court mightiness contented a ruling successful the case, but termination providers accidental erstwhile the caller instrumentality is successful place, they volition instantly halt providing services unless the tribunal intervenes.

“There volition beryllium radical who suffer access, adjacent if the halt successful services is lone brief,” said Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, which operates termination clinics successful Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

The caller instrumentality prohibits abortions erstwhile cardiac enactment tin beryllium detected successful an embryo, which experts accidental is astir six weeks into a pregnancy, earlier galore women cognize they are pregnant. A akin measure approved successful Texas past twelvemonth led to a melodramatic simplification successful the fig of abortions performed successful that state, with many women going to Oklahoma and different surrounding states for the procedure.

Dr. Iman Alsaden, the aesculapian manager of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said Texas’ instrumentality that took effect successful September has fixed their employees an thought of what a post-Roe state mightiness look like.

“Since that day, my colleagues and I person regularly treated patients who are fleeing their communities to question care,” Alsaden said. “They’re taking clip disconnected of work, taking clip retired of schoolhouse and taking clip distant from their household responsibilities to get the attraction that until September 2021 they were capable to get safely and readily successful their communities.”

The measure authorizes abortions if performed arsenic the effect of a aesculapian emergency, but determination are nary exceptions if the gestation is the effect of rape oregon incest.

Like the Texas law, the Oklahoma measure would let backstage citizens to writer termination providers oregon anyone who helps a pistillate get an termination for up to $10,000. After the U.S. Supreme Court allowed that mechanics to stay successful place, different Republican-led states sought to transcript Texas’ ban. Idaho’s governor signed the archetypal copycat measurement successful March, though it has been temporarily blocked by the state’s Supreme Court.

Stitt earlier this twelvemonth signed a measure to marque performing an termination a felony transgression successful Oklahoma, but that measurement is not acceptable to instrumentality effect until this summer, and ineligible experts accidental it’s apt to beryllium blocked due to the fact that the Roe v. Wade decision inactive remains the instrumentality of the land.

The fig of abortions performed each twelvemonth successful Oklahoma, which has 4 termination clinics, has declined steadily implicit the past 2 decades, from much than 6,200 successful 2002 to 3,737 successful 2020, the fewest successful much than 20 years, according to information from the Oklahoma State Department of Health. In 2020, earlier the Texas instrumentality was passed, astir 9% of the abortions performed successful Oklahoma were women from Texas.

Before the Texas prohibition took effect connected Sept. 1, astir 40 women from Texas had abortions performed successful Oklahoma each month, the information shows. That fig jumped to 222 Texas women successful September and 243 successful October.

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