On Tuesday, the Oklahoma House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill to ban almost all abortions in the state, a bill that would be even more restrictive than Texas’s six-week ban.
Axios reports that the Oklahoma House passed HB 4327 by a margin of 78-19. The bill would ban any and all abortions, with the sole exception of abortions that must be carried out in order to save the life of the mother. The bill would also provide incentives for private citizens to sue anyone who is suspected of providing abortions or helping people get abortions, with rewards of up to $10,000 for each abortion that a suspect has performed.
The bill now heads to the State Senate; if it passes the upper house, Governor Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.) is likely to sign it, where it would take effect almost immediately.
Several far-left groups issued statements complaining about the bill, with the American Civil Liberties Union tweeting that “after seeing the devastation caused by Texas’ abortion ban, Oklahoma politicians have taken the unconscionable step of imposing an even harsher ban on pregnant people.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights, a radical pro-abortion group, claimed that “these bounty hunter laws will have a domino effect across the country, as more and more states ban abortion entirely while Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land.”
The bill was introduced in order to combat the wave of patients flooding into the state in order to get an abortion after neighboring Texas passed its own law. Abortion provider Planned Parenthood has claimed that its Oklahoma facilities have seen a 2,500 percent spike in patients coming from Texas compared to last year, before the Texas law was enacted.
Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that first legalized abortion at the federal level in 1973, is currently under review by the current court in the form of a new case, Dobbs v. Jackson County Women’s Health Organization. The case, regarding a near-total ban on abortions in the state of Mississippi, could potentially see the precedent of Roe be overturned by the current 6-3 conservative majority of the court, and would likely see the matter of abortion be returned to the individual states to be decided on a state-by-state basis.