On Thursday, April 21, the Republican-dominated Oklahoma House of Representatives approved SB 1552, one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion bills. The bill, which contains no exceptions for rape or incest, would allow the legislature to revoke the license of any doctor who performs an abortion, effectively rendering the procedure illegal. SB 1552 passed the Oklahoma Senate earlier this week. The bill will now head to governor Mary Fallin.
Fallin, a Republican, has not publicly indicated whether or not she will sign the bill. In the past, she’s been staunchly anti-choice, signing almost every restriction bill that’s landed on her desk. In 2014, she signed into law a bill that requires women seeking an abortion for “fetal anomaly” to be counseled on perinatal hospice services. In 2015, Fallin signed SB 1409, a wide-ranging bill that, among other things, extended Oklahoma’s wait period to 72-hours. Fallin also signed a bill outlawing the most common form of second-trimester abortion which was later blocked by a state court judge.
Senator Nathan Dahm, the Republican who authored SB 1552, told Reuters that the bill falls within the legislature’s power. “This is our proper function, to protect life,” Dahm said.
In a statement, the Center for Reproductive Rights called the bill a “cruel and unconstitutional ban,” and asked Fallin to veto the measure. Oklahoma currently has two abortion clinics in the entire state and Guttmacher considers the state one of the most hostile to abortion rights.
But supporters of the bill argue that defending life is one of the legislature’s top priorities. “If we take care of morality,” David Brumbaugh, a Republican Representative in Oklahoma’s House, said during deliberations, “God will take care of the economy.”
Image via AP.