Signed 6-week Abortion Ban
Tuesday, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a measure similar to the contentious Texas abortion legislation, which empowers private individuals to pursue civil action only against abortion clinics to enforce the statute. – Oklahoma
Legislation known as the “Oklahoma Heartbeat Act,” S.B. 1503, goes into effect immediately and forbids abortions as soon as a physician can identify early heart activity in an embryo or fetus, which may then occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Medical situations are exempt from the law, but rape and incest are not.
The Oklahoma Heartbeat Act was signed into law by Stitt, a Republican who tweeted a picture of him signing the bill. My goal is for Oklahoma to be known as the most professional state in America because I represent the interests of the four million people who live here.
Abortion aids and abetment lawsuits might be brought by private persons under SB 1503, which would empower them to sue anybody who causes, induces, or plans to cause an abortion, whether intentionally or unintentionally. The remedies provided by the measure includes statutory damages of at least $10,000, legal expenses, and compensatory damages and for each abortion the defendant conducted or assisted in violating the law.
Among those who would be exempt from civil action under the law is the woman who had an abortion or sought one. In addition, a person who has impregnated a woman via rape, sexual assault, or incest would be unable to file a civil case against them.
Only in cases of medical emergencies may an abortion be performed in the state, which was signed into law by Stitt last month.
A maximum punishment of $100,000 or a maximum number of 10 years in state jail or both will be levied on anybody found guilty of performing or trying to perform an abortion under the new law, which is set to go into effect this summer.
Last Monday, Planned Parenthood and the Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic filed a legal challenge against SB 1503 in Oklahoma.
After the plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order was rejected by the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday, Stitt signed the legislation into law.
They expressed displeasure at the court’s ruling, but said they would fight on to stop the law. According to the plaintiffs, the state’s highest court has not yet determined whether or not to consider the case.
Protesters’ legal team leader Nancy Northup, who is representing them, stated that this prohibition will have an impact “far beyond Oklahoma.”
“For many Texans, Oklahoma is now their only choice when it comes to abortion services. If Roe is overturned on appeal, this is only a taste of what’s to come “According to a statement released by Northup.
Last Monday the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood challenged the state’s near-total abortion ban, SB 612, in an existing lawsuit.