by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The Republican-led Oklahoma House has given final approval for a bill that criminalizes performing an abortion, sentencing doctors who carry out the procedure to jail terms of up to 10 years and a $100,000 fine, the Associated Press reports. The bill passed 70-14 with no debate and has been sent to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt for signing into law.
Abortion has been legal in America since the US Supreme Court ruled in the landmark 1973 case of Roe v Wade that the procedure was to be allowed up to viability. However, the Supreme Court now has a 6-3 conservative majority, and it agreed to hear arguments on whether a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks gestation is unconstitutional; the Court’s decision is expected later this year.
The High Court also did not block a highly controversial Texas abortion bill that calls on citizens anywhere in America to sue anyone who has an abortion in Texas, or who helps a woman to have an abortion in Texas, for compensation of up to $10,000.
The Supreme Court’s recent actions surrounding abortion have encouraged several states to take their chances with laws that are currently at odds with the legislation established in Roe v Wade, and that will be challenged in the lower courts, but which GOP lawmakers hope will ultimately be allowed by the High Court.
The Oklahoma bill was sponsored by GOP state Rep. Jim Olsen and was passed in the state Senate last year, AP reports. The only exception to the penalties proposed is to save the mother’s life; there is no exception for rape.
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