Oklahoma State Bans Abortion Almost Completely
Steph Deschamps / April 6, 2022
The Republican-dominated Oklahoma legislature passed a bill Tuesday that makes abortion illegal in the Midwestern U.S. state, except in cases of medical emergency. The bill still needs to be approved by Republican Governor Kevin Stitt, but he has already announced that he will sign it.
The law could come into effect this summer, unless the courts get involved. The U.S. Supreme Court must rule on the constitutionality of a particularly restrictive law passed by the state of Mississippi. But abortion advocates fear that the Court, dominated by conservative justices, could undermine the right to abortion. This right - which is not guaranteed by any federal law in the United States - is based on the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe vs Wade. In that decision, the Court held that the Constitution guarantees a woman's right to an abortion. In 1992, the Court upheld this right as long as the fetus is not viable, i.e., around 22 to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
The issue of abortion rights has long divided American society. The state of Texas recently passed a law encouraging citizens to file civil lawsuits against anyone who helps women have abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, while Idaho passed a law allowing civil lawsuits against health care providers who perform abortions.