Oklahoma’s Congress on Tuesday passed a law that almost completely bans abortion, making it the latest Republican-controlled state to try to make it harder to terminate pregnancy in the US.
Numerous conservative-ruled states across the country have adopted abortion restrictions in recent months as the Supreme Court weighs a case that could decide the fate of Roe v. Wade, the decision that legalized abortion in the country in 1973.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives approved with 70 votes in favor and 14 against the new legislation, which criminalizes abortion with up to 10 years in prison and a fine of US$100,000 in almost all cases, “except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency”.
The call Bill 612which passed the Senate last year, must be signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican who promised last September to approve “all pro-life legislation” that comes his way.
The bill’s approval comes shortly after Oklahoma became a major destination for Texas women, who were also affected by their state’s ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
If a judge does not block it before, the law will take effect this summer.
In addition to Texas, recently Florida, Mississippi and Virginia have also passed laws to restrict access to abortion.
The US Supreme Court, now dominated by conservative justices, recently signaled that it is willing to overturn Roe v. Wade, thereby overturning a nearly 50-year-old decision guaranteeing the right to abortion in the country.
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