Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma signed a bill on Tuesday that protects unborn children from abortion in nearly all cases.
The bill makes it a felony for health care workers to perform an abortion, with punishments of up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, according to ABC News. The bill, which will take effect 90 days after the end of the state’s legislative session next month, only includes exceptions to save the life of a mother.
Republican state Sen. Nathan Dahm called the bill the “strongest pro-life legislation in the country right now, which effectively eliminates abortion in Oklahoma.”
The Biden administration attacked Oklahoma for protecting the right of unborn children to live.
Right now, reproductive rights are under attack in states across our nation. The Oklahoma legislature advanced a shameful bill that would prohibit almost all abortions if put into effect. If signed, this bill will only prevent women from getting the health care they need.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) April 6, 2022
White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the bill an “unconstitutional attack on women’s rights.”
“Protecting the right recognized in Roe v. Wade continues to be a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration, and we call on Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would shut down these attacks and codify this long-recognized, constitutional right,” Psaki said.
Stitt said the bill is what the people of Oklahoma want.
“As governor, I represent all 4 million Oklahomans, and they overwhelmingly support protecting life in the state of Oklahoma,” Stitt said, according to KOCO-TV. “We want Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country. We want to outlaw abortion in the state of Oklahoma.”
Stitt said the bill will be challenged by “liberal activists from the coast who always seem to want to come in and dictate and mandate and challenge our way of life here in the state of Oklahoma.”
“The most important thing is to take a stand and protect the unborn and protect life in the state of Oklahoma,” he said. “We believe life is precious. As a father of six, those are my core beliefs.”
As Governor, I promised to sign every piece of pro-life legislation that hit my desk.
Today I kept that promise by signing SB 612 into law, once again showing the world that Oklahoma is the most pro-life state in the country. pic.twitter.com/pdIo6ehuWh
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) April 12, 2022
Stitt said he is being true to his word.
“I promised Oklahomans that I would sign every pro-life bill that hits my desk, and that’s what we’re doing here today,” he said.
Whether the law can be implemented may be determined when the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is a test of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.
Stitt said he was “so excited about the Supreme Court addressing this issue and giving it back to the states where it belongs,” according to The Washington Post.
Mallory Carroll, a spokeswoman for Susan B. Anthony List, said the passage of the bill was “yet another sign of the continued pro-life momentum we’re seeing nationwide as lawmakers and pro-life Americans await a decision from the Supreme Court in the Dobbs case,” according to The New York Times.