As abortion rights groups rallied at the Oklahoma Capitol on Tuesday, Republican House members gave final passage to legislation that would make performing an abortion a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison or fines of up to $100,000, The Oklahoman reports. The GOP-backed bill that passed the Senate last year now goes to Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has vowed to sign all anti-abortion bills that come to his desk. Planned Parenthood Great Plains Interim President and CEO Emily Wales said Senate Bill 612 is "clearly unconstitutional." "We'll take it seriously and certainly consider our legal options," she said. Sen. Nathan Dahm, author of SB 612, touted the measure as the "strongest pro-life legislation in the country right now."
The bill would make it a felony to perform abortions except those deemed necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency. Abortion bans could have a devastating effect in Oklahoma and across the region because the Sooner State has become a safe haven for many women seeking abortion after Texas last year enacted a law that bans most abortions after six weeks into a pregnancy. Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat is among GOP legislators pushing anti-abortion legislation this year. Among the bills he has proposed is a measure that would prohibit most abortions 30 days after the start of a woman's last menstrual cycle, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.