The Oklahoma legislature has approved a bill that would make all abortions illegal, except in the case of a medical emergency to save the mother’s life.
The bill now heads to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt to be signed into law. The governor has previously said he would sign any pro-life bill that reaches his desk.
The Oklahoma House gave final legislative approval on Tuesday, voting 70–14 in favor of the bill. The bill had passed the state Senate in 2021.
“The penalties are for the doctor, not for the woman,” said state Rep. Jim Olsen, a Republican, who sponsored the bill.
More than 100 people attended a “Bans off Oklahoma” rally outside the state Capitol on the same day, to protest against the abortion ban.
Emily Wales, interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes, said the abortion restrictions “are about shaming and stigmatizing people who need and deserve abortion access.”
“These legislators have continued their relentless attacks on our freedoms,” Wales added, reported The Associated Press. “These restrictions are not about improving the safety of the work that we do.”
The Oklahoma House on Tuesday also adopted a resolution (pdf) to recognize Jan. 22 as the “Day of Tears” in Oklahoma to commemorate the at least 61 million lives lost due to abortion, ever since the Jan. 22, 1973, Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision.
The resolution encourages Oklahoma citizens to “lower their flags to half-staff to mourn the innocent, preborn children who have lost their lives due to abortion.”
The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision prohibited states from banning abortions prior to when the fetus is deemed “viable”—deemed at around 24 weeks of pregnancy.