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Oklahoma House passes Texas-style bill to ban all abortions

March 23, 2022 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House late Tuesday passed a bill that would prohibit doctors from performing abortions in the state, one of several anti-abortion bills working its way to the Republican governor — who has indicated he’ll sign it.

The ban on abortions would be enforced through private civil actions, similar to a new Texas law that has led to a dramatic reduction in the number of abortions performed in that state.

Under the law, any private citizen is entitled to collect at least $10,000 if they bring a successful lawsuit against someone who performed or helped a woman obtain an abortion — which opponents have condemned as a bounty.

“People who need abortion will be forced to flee their home state, attempt to end their pregnancies without medical support and face state-created bounty hunters here at home,” said Emily Wales, interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes.

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The House author of the bill, Republican Rep. Wendi Stearman of Collinsville, said her goal is to outlaw all abortions in Oklahoma.

The measure now heads to the Senate, which passed a similar ban earlier this month. Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt has said he’ll sign any anti-abortion bill the Legislature sends to his desk.