The new abortion laws include bills that criminalize the procedure in certain cases and strip providers of their medical licenses for performing them.
What We Know:
- The reason anti-abortion bills have been able to pass so easily recently is that Republicans currently control the Senate. The measures now require physicians who perform abortions to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology. However, the laws also add performing an abortion to the list of unprofessional conduct by doctors. Additionally, they prohibit abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
- In regards to the fetal-heartbeat bill, any doctor who performs an abortion after detecting a heartbeat would be guilty of homicide. Heartbeats can be detected using vaginal ultrasounds as early as six weeks. Less-invasive abdominal ultrasounds can detect heartbeats a few weeks later. The bills have been criticized by the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York, which has successfully sued to overturn numerous anti-abortion laws in recent years.
- Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt also signed a “trigger bill” which would immediately outlaw abortion in Oklahoma if the U.S Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case. Roe v. Wade occurred in 1973 and is responsible for legalizing abortion. The Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, claims that 10 states have similar laws to Oklahoma. Stitt is a Republican in his first term and stated on Monday that his campaign promise was to sign any anti-abortion measures that the legislature sends to him.
Governor Stitt reiterated his point in a statement saying,”We want to be the most pro-life state in the country, and I want to be the most pro-life governor.”
- Among the abortion bills, Stitt also signed a bill to make Oklahoma a Second Amendment Sanctuary State. This bill declares any federal, state, county, or municipal act, law, or order to confiscate or buy back firearms to be unconstitutional. Stitt also signed a bill to overhaul the state’s employee human resources system.
The human resources bill makes it easier for agency leaders to hire, fire, and promote employees.