Okla. Governor Stitt signs anti-abortion bill, no exception for rape or incest

by Erika DuBose
OK Governor Stitt signs anti-abortion bill, no exception for rape or incest
Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our newsletter below and never miss the latest stories affecting Black America.

Listen to this article here

Governor Kevin Stitt just signed an anti-abortion bill that places a near-total abortion ban on Oklahoma women. The bill, SB 612, bans health care workers from providing abortions, beginning at conception. 

Health care providers now face felony charges and a 10-year prison sentence if they provide an abortion. They also face $100,000 fines for doing so.  

SB 612 is one of the most restrictive anti-abortion bills in the nation. Women who are raped or involved in incest will be forced to carry their baby to term. The only exception is to save the life of the woman in case of an emergency.

“The only person who should have the power to decide whether you need an abortion is you — no matter where you live, or how much money you make. Today’s signing is a reminder of the immediate threat to our community’s health and reproductive freedom, serving as a placeholder to a rapidly approaching future without access to safe and legal abortion,” ACLU of Oklahoma executive director Tamya Cox-Touré said in a statement.

oklahoma anti abortion bills Reproductive advocates hold press conference against anti-abortion bills

A pro-choice activist, left, demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Tamya Cox-Touré, right, is executive director of ACLU Oklahoma.

Anti-abortion states seek to test the limits of Roe v. Wade

As the Supreme Court weighs whether to uphold or rescind Roe v. Wade, many other states are following suit in trying to limit women’s rights.

Texas has banned all abortions past 6 weeks of conception. Many women do not even know they are pregnant at such an early time.  The Oklahoma House recently passed a similar 6 week abortion ban.

 The Oklahoma governor signed the bill with anti-choice advocates and activists at his side. Governor Stitt had previously promised to sign any anti-abortion bill possible.

On the heels of SB 612 is HB 4327, which would ban abortion except in case of a woman’s life at risk. While SB 612 is set to begin in August, HB 4327 would start immediately upon Governor Stitt’s signature.

Neither bill provides exceptions for women who have been raped or pregnancies stemming from incest. 

“Pro-life” Oklahoma ranked worst state for women

Such anti-abortion bills target Black women in particular. Black women face the highest rates of unintended pregnancies of any population. 

Additionally, Black women seek abortions at higher rates than other races. Black women also face more pregnancy-related complications, with a nearly three times higher rate of death during pregnancy or childbirth. 

Oklahoma Governor Stitt has vowed to make Oklahoma the most “pro-life” state in the country. However, the governor does not support comprehensive sex education, child care reimbursement, or free college – all of which would improve the lives of Oklahoma families. 

“What politicians have done today is create a state where anybody who can become pregnant is forced to carry out a pregnancy against their will. We must continue to fight in the courts, in our state legislature, in the streets, and at the ballot box to guarantee all people have access to the health care they need,” Cox-Touré added.

While activists plan to challenge the bill in court, SB 612 is set to go into effect in August. In the meantime, Oklahoma legislators also plan to push for other anti-abortion bills. 

1 comment

Alex May 8, 2022 - 10:44 am

Aw man, gonna hafta play around in other cities, don’t want to use condoms and won’t be put on child support

Reply

Leave a Reply

You may also like