Oklahoma’s House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday that would ban nearly all abortions in the state. If it is signed into law it would be the strongest pro-life law in the nation.
The law, HB 4327, would outlaw doctors in the state from performing any abortions unless the life of the mother is at risk. Private citizens could also sue doctors or others in the state in violation of the law for up to $10,000.
The bill next moves to the state’s Senate where it will likely pass under the GOP-led majority. The governor has not yet stated whether he would sign the bill into law. If enacted, the bill is set to go into effect on November 1, 2022.
The proposed law would surpass even the recently enacted Texas law as one of the strictest abortion laws in the country, banning nearly all abortions after the point of conception instead of at the detection of a fetal heartbeat. In 2021, the new legal action in Texas banned abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, generally at about six weeks of pregnancy.
The Supreme Court allowed the Texas law to stand, leading other Republican-led states to begin pursuing similar legislation.
“House Bill 4327 does not end abortion, but it will induce compliance because no abortion provider will violate it and risk a lawsuit,” said bill sponsor and Republican Rep. Wendi Stearman, according to The Oklahoman.
“The legislation also includes an exception for women who seek an abortion due to rape, sexual assault or incest so long as the crime has been reported to law enforcement,” the report noted.
Oklahoma is among several GOP majority states to pursue new abortion restrictions this year. Tennessee Republican lawmakers introduced a new abortion restriction law last week modeled after recent legislation in Texas that would ban most abortions.
The Volunteer State already has some of the strongest pro-life laws in the nation. The new bill would further limit abortions, allowing private citizens the ability to file civil lawsuits against those who perform an abortion.
“This bill is modeled directly after the legislation passed in Texas last year. Abortions since that bill has been passed have dropped 60% in Texas,” Republican Rep. Rebecca Alexander, the bill’s sponsor, told a House subcommittee.
The Idaho House of Representatives also passed a new bill last week that bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
The bill is likewise styled after the recently enacted Texas law that also allows family members to sue doctors who perform an abortion after six weeks. The Daily Wire reported:
Senate Bill 1309, known as the “Fetal Heartbeat, Preborn Child Protection Act,” passed on Monday in a 51-14 vote. The bill now moves to Republican Gov. Brad Little’s desk to sign.
The law makes Idaho the first state to pass an abortion ban similar to the controversial Texas law that led to widespread criticism from abortion activists.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the Texas law to remain in place until a court challenge is decided on its merits. The Texas Supreme Court ruled against abortion providers last week, dealing what many consider to be the final blow to their legal challenges,” USA Today reported.
“The Idaho bill would allow the potential father, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles of a preborn child to sue an abortion provider for a minimum of $20,000 in damages within four years of the procedure. Although a rapist wouldn’t be able to file a lawsuit, their relatives could,” the report added.