Denver Newsroom, May 2, 2022 / 15:22 pm
Lawmakers in Oklahoma on Thursday passed a bill, modeled after a Texas law, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected — generally around six weeks gestation — and relies on private lawsuits filed by citizens to enforce the ban.
The bill is now on the desk of Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who is expected to sign it into law. An emergency clause in the bill means it will take effect immediately.
Thousands of women have traveled to Oklahoma from Texas to avail themselves of abortions since Texas’ law, called the Texas Heartbeat Act, took effect in September 2021 and by most measures drastically reduced the number of surgical abortions taking place in the state.
Oklahoma’s two Catholic bishops praised the bill as a protective measure for human life in the state, and also encouraged help for the women considering abortion.