Oklahoma’s state House on Tuesday voted 78-19 to pass a near complete ban on abortions, legislation that far surpasses Texas’ six-week ban. The bill is now headed to the Senate and, if passed, will be the strictest anti-abortion bill in the country.
The legislation — known as House Bill 4327 — bars a physician from performing or inducing an abortion at any point in the pregnancy unless it is “to save the life” of the pregnant person. Similar to Texas’ six-week abortion ban, the new legislation would allow private citizens to pursue civil actions of up to $10,000 against anyone who performs or “aids and abets in the provision of such an abortion.” Lawmakers added an emergency clause for timing so that if the bill is signed into law, it would take effect immediately.
“Abortion rights activists have been warning of this nightmare for months: These bounty hunter laws will have a domino effect across the country, as more and more states ban abortion entirely while Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land,” Elisabeth Smith, director of state policy and advocacy for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement.
Evidently, this will have serious and immediate repercussions in the country’s second-largest state as well.
I think it’s obvious the Court will just explicitly overrule Roe v. Wade in June, but in a sense it’s a moot point — so many states will pass total abortion bans by the end of the year a minimalist slow-motion overruling strategy would be almost immediately inoperative anyway.