The Oklahoma Senate approved a near-total ban on abortions Thursday, while the state House passed a bill that will ban all abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy.
Both bills are modeled after a similar law passed in Texas last year that bans abortions once cardiac activity can be detected in the fetus, which is around six weeks, and allows private citizens to sue anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion.
Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who said earlier this month that “he wants to outlaw abortion in the state of Oklahoma,” could sign both bills in the coming days.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks after signing into law a bill making it a felony to perform an abortion, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in Oklahoma City.
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
The bill passed by the Senate on Thursday will ban all abortions except for in cases of rape, incest, or a medical emergency. It also allows private individuals to “bring a civil action against any person who… aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion.”
The bill passed by the House also allows civil action to be taken.
OKLAHOMA HOUSE PASSES NEAR-TOTAL ABORTION BAN
The U.S. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed challenges to Texas’s law this week and the U.S. Supreme Court has so far declined to intervene.
It’s the second and third anti-abortion bills to clear the Oklahoma legislature after Gov. Stitt signed a bill earlier this month that makes performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to a decade in prison.
“I promised Oklahomans that I would sign every pro-life bill that hits my desk, and that’s what we’re doing here today,” Stitt said at the time.
Abortion rights advocates gather outside the Oklahoma Capitol on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Oklahoma City, to protest several anti-abortion bills being considered by the GOP-led Legislature.
(AP Photo/Sean Murphy)
The bill passed in early April won’t go into effect until this summer and could be struck down by a legal challenge, but both bills passed Thursday have an “emergency” provision that will allow them to take effect immediately.
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Planned Parenthood said Thursday that they “are going to court to stop this ban.”
“We have been in the middle of a crisis for the last seven months — as Texans have been forced to leave their home states for care — and now Oklahomans may have to do the same,” Emily Wales, the interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes, said in a statement earlier this month. “It’s unconscionable.”
Idaho passed its own Texas-style abortion ban in March, but the state Supreme Court temporarily blocked it before it went into effect.
Pro-life protesters stand near the gate of the Texas state capitol at a protest outside the Texas state capitol on May 29, 2021, in Austin, Texas.
(Sergio Flores/Getty Images)
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The law in Texas led to a dramatic decrease in abortions in the state last year and an increase in Texans going across the border to Oklahoma.
Before the Texas law took effect, about 40 women from Texas had abortions in Oklahoma each year, but that number rose to more 200 a month in September and October, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Paul Best is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @KincaidBest.