The Oklahoma Legislature Just Passed One Of The Most Aggressively Anti-Choice Bills Ever
On Thursday, the Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill that would make performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. AP noted that the Senate approved the legislation 33-12, without "discussion or debate." It already passed the House last month. The Oklahoma bill is by far one of the most aggressive anti-choice pieces of legislation yet passed.
The bill was introduced by State Sen. Nathan Dahn, a Republican, and will be sent to Gov. Mary Fallin's office to be signed. According to AP, Fallin, who is also a Republican, will not comment on the legislation until "her staff has time to review it." Even if Fallin declines to sign the legislation, if she does not veto it within five days, it automatically becomes law.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-choice organization, released a statement denouncing this legislation. Amanda Allen, a layer for the Center, said:
This total ban on abortion is a new low. When abortion is illegal, women and their health, futures, and families suffer.
Critics of the legislation have noted that making it a criminal act for doctors to perform abortions is clearly unconstitutional. In an article for Bustle on the anti-choice Oklahoma legislation published last month, Raina Lipsitz interviewed Allen, who said that a "blanket abortion ban like this” is “facially unconstitutional.” However, Allen also noted that, “Whether the strategy is to sneak around the Constitution and enact clinic shutdown laws like we saw Texas do in the past few years, or whether it’s just to go directly at the [right itself] and say, ‘We are making abortion illegal in this state,’ the strategies may be different but the ultimate goal is the same: The anti-abortion movement wants to make it difficult or impossible to access abortion in any given state."