Republicans in Oklahoma enacted the strictest abortion ban in the country, a development that is certain to energize liberals already outraged by the likely end of the Roe V. Wade era.
The new law bans abortion beginning at conception with limited exceptions for rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger, the Washington Examiner reported.
Oklahoma enacts strictest abortion ban nationwide
Emily Wales, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said that “people who can become pregnant” now face the reality that “abortion is illegal – at every stage of pregnancy – in an American state” for the first time in half a century.
The ban borrows the enforcement scheme of a near-total abortion ban in Texas that was signed in September. Abortions in Texas have dropped some 60 percent since the ban was enacted.
Under Oklahoma’s new law, those who aid and abet an abortion can be sued for $10,000, but unlike the Texas law, Oklahoma’s ban protects women seeking abortions from civil liability. Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt (R) said he is keeping his promises to protect the unborn.
“I promised Oklahomans that as governor I would sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk and I am proud to keep that promise today,” Stitt said in a statement.
He acknowledged that other states may see things differently, but “in Oklahoma we will always stand up for life.”
Abortion controversy heats up
Many on the left fear the possibility that the states will soon reclaim the authority to regulate abortion after a Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe V. Wade was leaked this month.
It’s not clear when the Court will share its final opinion in the pending case, Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which deals with a Mississippi ban on abortion after 15 weeks.
Democrats have pounced on the unprecedented, unauthorized leak in a desperate attempt to mitigate widely anticipated losses in the midterm elections. It seems certain they will use Oklahoma’s new law to argue that “ultra-MAGA” Republicans are antediluvian extremists.
Abortion is never mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, but the Roe decision invented a Constitutional right to get one that was later upheld in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
President Biden, who is Catholic, rejects Church teaching that life starts at conception. The president has not been shy about using religion to justify abortion, recently arguing the right to kill an unborn baby comes from God.