April 12, 2022: Oklahoma governor signs bill outlawing abortion

by WorldTribune Staff, April 12, 2022

Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday signed legislation which outlaws abortion in the state.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt

The only exception is to save the life of the mother.

The law makes it a felony to perform an abortion in Oklahoma, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. It does not authorize criminal charges against a woman for receiving an abortion.

“We want to outlaw abortion in the state of Oklahoma,” Stitt said during a signing ceremony for the bill, flanked by clergy and students. “I promised Oklahomans that I would sign every pro-life bill that hits my desk, and that’s what we’re doing here today.”

State Sen. Nathan Dahm, who wrote the bill, called it the “strongest pro-life legislation in the country right now, which effectively eliminates abortion in Oklahoma.”

Dahm said the bill would apply to any physicians in Oklahoma who dispense abortion medication to women, which accounted for about 64% of all abortions performed in Oklahoma in 2020, the most recent year for which statistics were available.

There is no enforcement mechanism in the bill for women who order abortion medication online from out-of-state suppliers. Oklahoma lawmakers passed a bill last year to prevent women from ordering abortion medication online, but that measure was blocked by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki released a statement Tuesday describing the bill as an “unconstitutional attack on women’s rights.”

The legislation takes effect 90 days after the Oklahoma state legislature adjourns next month.

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