May 27, 2022

Oklahoma Gov. Signs Law Banning Abortion at Fertilization

Oklahoma Gov Kevin Stitt (R)
On Wednesday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a law that bans abortion from the moment of fertilization. Abortion businesses in the state closed when the law took effect.

The new law, which took effect immediately, bans abortion at all stages of pregnancy, but it includes exceptions for rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk. Additionally, the law states that its definition of abortion, “does not include the use, prescription, administration, procuring, or selling of Plan B, morning-after pills, or any other type of contraception or emergency contraception.” These options can sometimes cause abortion after fertilization but before implantation.

The Oklahoma law is enforced by private citizens through civil lawsuits, just like Texas's Heartbeat Act. Texas's law remains enforceable today, despite court challenges. The Texas Heartbeat Act, however, only bans abortion when the child's heartbeat becomes detectable (six weeks).

“I promised Oklahomans that as governor I would sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk and I am proud to keep that promise today,” said Stitt in a statement. He continued, “From the moment life begins at conception is when we have a responsibility as human beings to do everything we can to protect that baby’s life and the life of the mother. That is what I believe and that is what the majority of Oklahomans believe. If other states want to pass different laws, that is their right, but in Oklahoma we will always stand up for life.””