Okla Gov Signs 'Heartbeat' Bill Making Most Abortions After 6 weeks Illegal

(CNS News) — Oklahoma’s Republican governor, Kevin Stitt, signed legislation into law on Tuesday that prohibits most abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detected, which usually occurs around six weeks into a pregnancy. It is similar to a law in Texas, which went into effect in September 2021. The new Oklahoma law goes into effect immediately.

“I am proud to sign SB 1503, the Oklahoma Heartbeat Act into law,” wrote Gov. Stitt on Twitter. “I want Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country because I represent all four million Oklahomans who overwhelmingly want to protect the unborn.”

The total population of Oklahoma is estimated to be 3.98 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The new law says, “a physician shall not knowingly perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child … or failed to perform a test to detect a fetal heartbeat.”

Further, the requirements of the law “will be enforced exclusively through private civil actions.” This means that private citizens –not the state — can sue any person who performs an abortion or aids in an abortion that violates the heartbeat law.


For doctors or others who are charged with such crimes, they could face penalties of at least $10,000 for each illegal abortion performed. The woman who undergoes the abortion cannot be sued, only those who make it happen.

The pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights said of the new law, “Since Texas’s abortion ban and vigilante scheme banned most abortions in the state, people have rushed to neighboring states—including Oklahoma—to seek abortion care. Now Oklahoma has passed its own extreme abortion bans, which would further devastate abortion access in the region.”

“Access to abortion is in great peril in the country, and especially in this region,” said Rabia Muqaddam, a senior staff attorney at the Center. “These bans are blatantly unconstitutional and threaten the health and freedom of Oklahomans, Texans, and so many others.”

Tony Lauinger, chairman of Oklahomans for Life, told CBS News on April 29, “It’s identical to the bill that was enacted by the Texas Legislature last year, and that bill has passed muster with the United States Supreme Court. We are hopeful that this bill will save the lives of more unborn children here in Oklahoma as well.”

If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, then abortion laws would be set by the states, which was the norm prior to 1973.

Some states, such as California, New York, and New Jersey have very liberal, non-restrictive abortion laws. States that generally conservative, such as Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah have more restrictive abortion laws. 

A decision on the Dobbs case is expected in June. However, a leaked copy of an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, published on Monday and reportedly supported by four other justices, argues for overturning Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood and sending abortion laws back to the state level. 


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