Kevin Stitt signed a measure into law making it illegal to provide an abortion.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives enacted and submitted to the governor a near-total ban on abortion on Tuesday morning with little fanfare or fuss.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, got his final vote on Senate Bill 612 just as abortion rights advocates and others gathered outside the Capitol for a previously arranged demonstration against multiple prohibitions enacted this year by the Republican-controlled state legislature.
SB 612, approved by Gov. Kevin Stitt, would almost definitely be challenged right away. While state laws severely restricting abortion access have lately been affirmed by federal courts, a complete ban on the practice has yet to be seen.
Governor Kevin Stitt Bans Abortion In Oklahoma
SB 612 is a leftover from the previous session when it cleared the Senate and a House committee. It would make all abortions illegal in Oklahoma unless the woman’s life is in danger. Anyone who performs an abortion would face a punishment of up to ten years in jail and a $100,000 fine. Women who get the operation will not be penalized under the law.
Some may argue that SB 612 is unnecessary because the state’s long-dormant abortion laws will be reactivated if Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing a woman’s right to an abortion, is reversed.
Some believe this will happen in the coming months when the current Supreme Court will rule on a Mississippi case. SB 612 passed the House of Representatives 70-14, with 16 members abstaining from voting. The lone Republican voting against the bill was Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa, who is not seeking reelection.
It is clear that Governor Kevin Stitt will sign SB 612 because he’s already stated that he’ll sign any law reducing abortion rights that comes his way. House Democrats startled Republicans on Tuesday by opting out of a floor confrontation in favor of attending an abortion and civil rights protest.
Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, feels the legislation was timed to coincide with the gathering on Tuesday morning. Olsen said he was unaware of the event until after the election.