The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill last week that would ban nearly all abortions in the state, following a mechanism similar to Texas.
If the legislation passes, it would exclusively enforce the ban on abortion after six weeks “through private civil actions” against any person who “aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion.” However, it would not allow actions against the woman who was pregnant or who sought abortion services.
This legislation is similar to the model “Texas Heartbeat Law,” which applies beginning at six weeks of pregnancy, approximately when the fetal heartbeat is detected.
The bill will make exceptions for abortions performed “to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency” or if the pregnancy is a “result of rape, sexual assault, or incest that has been reported to law enforcement,” according to CNN.
The bill was approved Tuesday by the House of Representatives 78—19, with the full support of Republicans.
Wendi Stearman, the Republican representative and lead sponsor of the bill said it would “would protect the life of the unborn.”
The next step is the bill’s treatment in the state Senate, which is expected to be this week, where there is also a Republican majority.
Suppose it passes and becomes law after the signature of Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Kevin Stitt. In that case, its ultimate fate will be in the hands of the Supreme Court with its final ruling on the Texas case.
Both the legal battle over the Texas law and a ruling on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion, which await resolution in the Supreme Court, could bring down the landmark ruling that legalized abortion in the U.S., Roe v. Wade. If that were the case, states could ban abortion at any stage of pregnancy.