Oklahoma Governor Signs Strictest Abortion Ban In US

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WASHINGTON: The governor of the US state of Oklahoma on Wednesday signed into law a bill that bars nearly all abortions after fertilisation, the country’s strictest ban yet on the procedure.

“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,” Republican Governor Kevin Stitt said in a statement.

The bill, approved by Oklahoma legislators last week, follows a similar measure that went into effect in neighbouring Texas in September, which gives members of the public the ability to sue doctors who perform abortions — or anyone who helps facilitate them.

The only exceptions from the new law are the need to save the mother’s life as well as rape or incest that have been reported to law enforcement.

Recent efforts by Republican-led states to restrict access to abortions come in anticipation of the US Supreme Court likely overturning Roe vs Wade, the 1973 landmark decision allowing nationwide access to abortion.

Planned Parenthood, the leading advocate of abortion rights in the US, said it would challenge the Oklahoma law in court.

“We will never stop working to defend your right to control your body,” the group said.

A draft opinion leaked earlier this month showed the Supreme Court’s conservative majority was on the verge of overturning Roe, sparking mass protests across the country.

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