In what would be the strictest ban on abortion in the nation, the Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill Thursday that would ban abortion from the moment of fertilization with no exceptions for dangers to the life of the mother, the New York Times reports.
The Oklahoma bill will allow civil suits by individuals who sue the woman, the doctor and anyone who “aids or abets” the ability of the woman to get an abortion. Like the oppressive Texas bill it’s modeled after, the Oklahoma bill provides for civil penalties through lawsuits filed by private individuals who wish to get rich by violating other people’s privacy.
Oklahoma’s legislation allows for an abortion in the event of rape or incest as long as those assaults are reported to police, which historically sexual assault victims have been hesitant to do because of the shame often shoveled onto victims of such crimes.
The Oklahoma law allows an unlimited number of people to sue anyone they believe may have been tangentially involved in a woman’s abortion, with each person able to get at least $10,000 from each defendant. It does not provide a cap on the number of lawsuits, nor does it specify who has standing to sue.
The Texas law has already fallen flat on its face, with a woman who suffered a miscarriage being reported by a nurse at the hospital where the patient sought medical care. The patient was arrested by local law enforcement by released after she was able to convince the male members of the prosecution team that she did not induce the miscarriage, which is a scary scenario for any woman: having to justify their personal medical care to a panel of government agents.
“We believe that God has a special plan for every single life and every single child, and we want everybody to have the same opportunities in Oklahoma, and aborting a child is not the right answer,” Republican Governor Kevin Stitt said.