Oklahoma governor signs 3 anti-abortion bills into law

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed three anti-abortion bills into law

Anti Abortion Bills Oklahoma
Anti Abortion Bills Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed three anti-abortion bills into law on Monday, including ones to criminalize the procedure in certain cases and cost providers their medical licenses for performing them.

The Republican-controlled Senate passed measures requiring physicians who perform abortions to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology, adding performing an abortion to the list of unprofessional conduct by doctors, and prohibiting abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

In the case of the fetal-heartbeat bill, any doctor who performs an abortion after detecting a heartbeat would be guilty of homicide.

Embryonic cardiac activity can be detected using vaginal ultrasounds as early as 6 weeks, before many women know they are pregnant. Less-invasive abdominal ultrasounds can detect a heartbeat a few weeks later.

The bills have been criticized by the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights which has successfully sued to overturn numerous anti-abortion laws in recent years.

“These extreme bills are designed to cut off abortion access for people in Oklahoma — a state that already has more abortion restrictions than almost any other state," Elisabeth Smith, the center's chief counsel for state policy, said in a statement. “We are currently considering all our legal options to ensure that these laws do not take effect and abortion remains accessible for Oklahomans.”

Several other anti-abortion bills are still awaiting the governor's signature, including a “trigger bill" that would immediately outlaw abortion in Oklahoma if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion. At least 10 states have similar laws, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.

Oklahoma is one of several states where GOP gains are lending more momentum to prohibitions on the procedure.

Stitt also said he signed a bill to make Oklahoma a so-called Second Amendment Sanctuary State. The bill declares any federal, state, county or municipal act, law or order to confiscate or buy back firearms to be unconstitutional.

Stitt also announced Monday that he plans to sign a bill to overhaul the state's employee human resources system. The bill would eliminate the “classified" and “unclassified" designation of state employees and make it easier for agency leaders to hire, fire and promote employees.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in