OKLAHOMA (KFDX/KJTL) — It will soon be a felony to perform an abortion in the State of Oklahoma after Governor Kevin Stitt signed Senate Bill 612 into law leaving many Oklahoma and Texas residents with plenty to say.
“Abortion and how people feel about it hasn’t really changed much since the 1970s. So the controversial nature of this topic has been quite similar since the 1970s and people are very entrenched in their positions,” MSU Chair of Political Science Dr. Linda Veazey said.
It’s a bill that places a near-total ban on abortions in the state, an action that has been met with mixed reactions.
“We’re excited that Oklahoma is going to protect pre-born babies from conception,” local Pro-Life volunteer Danny Breegle said.
“What’s going to be interesting to watch for is what happens after these go into effect because it’s very clear right now that they’ll go into effect in multiple states but what’s going to happen when abortion access is still sought,” Veazey said.
The bill makes performing an abortion punishable with up to 10 years in prison. There’s also no exceptions for rape or incest, and abortion is only to be done to save the life of the mother.
Breegle says bills like these go the extra mile to protect a sacred unborn life.
“A hundred babies are alive because of the Heartbeat Bill and we expect, we don’t know, but the Oklahoma statistics will be similar. It’s a smaller state but protects from earlier on from conception,” Breegle said.
Veazey says the Oklahoma bill will have ripple effects that will impact those beyond Oklahoma state lines.
“Since September of 2021 when the Texas ban of six weeks went into effect, what we’ve seen is a lot of women in Texas going to Oklahoma to receive abortion services,” Veazey said.
As Texas, Oklahoma and several other Republican states continue to push these kinds of legislation. Both Breegle and Veazey say it’s important for mothers and families to educate themselves and lead with an open mind to where they stand on abortion.
“I think we’re going to see this continue,” Veazey said.
“For any woman or young girl who is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, we know you feel like the world is caving in on you, lots of pressure. We just want you to know that you aren’t alone, we’re here to help,” Breegle said.
Oklahoma now waits to see what other states will follow suit.
The bill will take effect in August but abortion rights advocates say it’s certain to face a legal challenge.