Oklahoma Legislature Passes Strictest Abortion Ban in the U.S.

The Republican-led legislature in Oklahoma passed a bill on May 19 banning abortions from the moment of fertilization, with some exceptions, making it the strictest abortion ban in the United States.

With a vote of 73 to 16, the state legislature passed House Bill 4327, which allows private citizens to sue anyone who “aids or abets” a patient in terminating a pregnancy for $10,000 and “emotional distress,” even if they do not have a relationship with the patient in question.

The bill includes exceptions for instances of rape or incest, but it requires that they be first reported to the authorities.

The bill also allows exceptions for pregnancies that pose a risk to the person’s life.

The bill now heads to the desk of Republican Governor Kevin Stitt, who is expected to sign it, and it will immediately come into effect.

Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris called the Oklahoma legislation “the latest in a series of blatant attacks on women by extremist legislators.”

The legislation comes as an unprecedented leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court suggested that a majority of the conservative justices are set to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision, which legalized abortion nationwide.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America President and Chief Executive Officer Alexis Johnson said that if Stitt signs the bill into law, Oklahoma “will be the first state in the country to completely outlaw abortion, even while Roe still stands.”

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