Oklahoma senators passed a bill on Tuesday that would make abortion illegal in the state except in medical situations, punishing anyone who does so with fines of up to $100,000 and ten years in prison.
The bill was taken to a vote this week by the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives after it was passed by the Midwestern state’s Senate last year. It now goes to Republican Governor Kevin Stitt’s desk for signature.
Stitt has stated that he is in favor of anti-abortion legislation. If he signs the bill, it will go into force this summer unless it is overturned by the courts.
A ban on abortion in Oklahoma would expand a section of the country where women have little to no legal access to abortion. Since Texas prohibited abortions beyond six weeks of pregnancy in September, the state has become a popular destination for Texas women seeking abortions.
“These harmful bills serve as a sobering reminder that access to safe and legal abortion may be dwindling, and we must continue to fight to ensure that all people have access to the essential health care they require, including abortion,” Tamya Cox-Toure, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, said in a statement.
The law, which was passed by the Oklahoma House on Tuesday, is one of several anti-abortion proposals currently circulating in the state legislature.
Similar to Texas’ six-week abortion ban, another legislation presented this year proposes prohibiting practically all abortions and relying on private citizens to suit anyone who “aids or abets” abortions. That bill has an emergency clause that allows it to go into effect as soon as it is passed and signed by the governor.
“A person shall not purposefully perform or attempt to perform an abortion unless to preserve the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency,” according to the bill enacted on Tuesday.
In recent years, Republican-controlled states such as Oklahoma have approved a slew of anti-abortion legislation.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of June on a case involving a Republican-backed Mississippi statute that could undercut or possibly abolish the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion worldwide.
During the case’s arguments, the conservative justices indicated a willingness to drastically restrict abortion rights in the United States.