Oklahoma legislature passes abortion ban starting at ‘fertilization’
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Oklahoma legislature passes abortion ban starting at ‘fertilization’

The Oklahoma legislature on Thursday passed its third major abortion-ban law in a little over a month. HB 4327 bans abortions starting at fertilization except in cases of medical emergency, incest, or sexual assault. However the incest and sexual assault exceptions apply only if those incidents were reported to law enforcement. 

Modeled after Texas’s abortion ban, the GOP-led Oklahoma House of Representatives called HB 4327 the “most strongly pro-life bill of its kind by allowing civil liability from conception.” HB 4327 opens up anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion to civil lawsuits, specifically $10,000 in damages. Although other bills that ban abortion starting at fertilization have raised concerns for possibly applying to common birth control methods, HB 4327 specifies that it does not apply to contraception like Plan B. 

The bill will now go to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, who is expected to sign it into law.

Governor Stitt signed a similar six week ban into law earlier this month and also another abortion bill that would make it a felony to perform abortions except when the mother’s life is in danger.

Several other Republican-led states, like Arizona, Kentucky and Wyoming, have passed similar legislation.