Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks during a press conference in Oklahoma City. Governor Stitt is signing three anti-abortion laws.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed three anti-abortion bills Monday, including those that criminalize the procedure in certain cases and cost providers medical licenses to perform them.
The Republican-controlled Senate passed measures that required doctors to perform abortions in obstetrics and gynecology, adding abortion to the list of unprofessional behaviors of doctors, and banning abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected. .
In the case of the fetal heartbeat bill, any doctor who performs an abortion after detecting a heartbeat would be guilty of homicide.
Embryonic cardiac activity can be detected by vaginal ultrasounds just 6 weeks before many women know they are pregnant. Less invasive abdominal ultrasounds can detect a heartbeat a few weeks later.
The bills have been criticized by the New York Center for Reproductive Rights, which has successfully demanded the repeal of numerous anti-abortion laws in recent years.
“These extreme bills are designed to cut off access to abortion for the people of Oklahoma, a state that already has more restrictions on abortion than almost any other state,” Elisabeth Smith said in a statement. senior adviser to the center for state policy. “We are currently considering all of our legal options to ensure that these laws do not go into effect and that abortion continues to be accessible to Oklahomans.”
Several other anti-abortion bills are still awaiting the governor’s signature, including a “bill” that would immediately ban abortion in Oklahoma if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe case referent. against Wade in 1973 legalizing abortion. At least ten states have similar laws, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.
Stitt, a Republican in his first term, on Monday reiterated his campaign promise to sign any anti-abortion measures the legislature sends him.
“We want to be the most pro-life state in the country and I want to be the most pro-life governor,” Stitt said.
Oklahoma is one of several states in which GOP gains are giving more impetus to procedural bans.
Stitt also said he signed a bill to turn Oklahoma into the so-called Second Church State. The bill declares unconstitutional any act, law or federal, state, county or municipal order to confiscate or purchase firearms.
Stitt on Monday also signed a bill to review the human resources system of state employees. The bill would eliminate “classified” and “unclassified” designation of state employees and make it easier for agency leaders to hire, fire, and promote employees.