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Oklahoma Senate approves half-dozen anti-abortion measures

March 11, 2022 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Republican-controlled Oklahoma Senate has approved a half-dozen anti-abortion measures, including a Texas-style abortion ban that allows private lawsuits against those who perform abortions.

The full Senate approved each of the bills on Thursday and sent them to the House, where they’re likely to pass. Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt has said he would sign any anti-abortion bill sent to him by the Legislature.

The Texas-style ban authorizes private civil actions to be brought against anyone performing an abortion after cardiac activity has been detected in the fetus. Another bill would prohibit abortions after 30 days from a woman’s last period, before most women know they are pregnant.

“It is my sincere hope federal legal precedents allowing abortion are overturned, restoring Oklahoma’s ability to prohibit abortion once again,” Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, who authored several of the bills, said in a statement.

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Oklahoma abortion clinics have seen an influx in the number of women coming from Texas since that state approved its new law that is considered the nation’s most restrictive abortion law in decades.

The bills were immediately decried by abortion-rights activists.

“After enduring six months of the health care crisis caused by Texas’ S.B. 8, it’s stunning that the response from the Oklahoma Senate is to double down on the intentional cruelty of S.B. 8 with their own abortion bans,” said Rebecca Tong, co-executive director of Trust Women, which operates an abortion clinic in Oklahoma City.