Oklahoma became the first US state to ban nearly all kinds of abortions as Governor Kevin Stitt on Wednesday signed a bill that outlaws abortions after conception. The state has introduced the strictest anti-abortion law in the country. However, the law spares rape victims, incest cases and mothers, who are in critical health conditions.
Stitt, who described himself as a pro-life governor, had previously vowed to ban abortion in the state. He pointed out that he would sign every piece of pro-life legislation, which comes across his desk.
Abortion Banned At All Stages
The abortion of "an embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization until birth" is banned under the newly-introduced law. But the law does not bar the use of emergency contraceptive pills. Plan B or any other type of contraception is still allowed in the state.
"Now think about that for a second, from the moment of fertilization. It's outrageous and it's just the latest in a series of extreme laws around the country," the Governor said in a statement. The Republican-controlled state has long been against abortion rights.
Rape Victims, Severely ill Mothers Spared
Soon after the anti-abortion bill was signed into law, abortion advocates pledged to challenge the law at Oklahoma Supreme Court. They pointed out that they would ask the court to block the newly-introduced law, which bars abortion.
Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, underlined that it's the first time in nearly 50 years in a US state that abortion is illegal at every stage of pregnancy.
Her organization is one of five providers planning to file a joint challenge as soon as the Oklahoma City courthouse opens Thursday morning, according to Bloomberg.
The law doesn't criminalize abortions but it allows citizens to sue anyone for up to $10,000 over aiding or performing an abortion. It came after a Supreme Court leak, which suggested that the court will overthrow the Roe v. Wade ruling, which allowed abortion in the US.
The ruling would rescind the federal law protecting abortion rights and allow states to set their own policies and laws. Roughly two-thirds to four-fifths of Americans favor legal access to abortion in at least some cases, according to New York Post.