Oklahoma restricts abortion after six weeks of pregnancy

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Oklahoma, a conservative state in the southern United States, on Thursday approved a law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. For several months, thousands of Texan women seeking an abortion, after the passage of a similar text in this neighboring state, went precisely to Oklahoma.

The lower house of the Oklahoma parliament approved a text on Thursday April 28 banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The law provides medical exceptions for access to abortion, but not in cases of rape or incest. It must now arrive on the office of the Republican governor who should sign it and bring it into force.

A few hours after the first vote in the lower house, the Oklahoma Senate approved another text, this time prohibiting any voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) regardless of the stage of pregnancy, but including exceptions in case of medical emergencies, rape, or incest. This text will now make the parliamentary shuttle to the lower house.

On September 1, 2021, one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States came into force in the Republican state of Texas, prohibiting all abortions from the moment a fetal heartbeat is perceptible on ultrasound. , about four weeks after fertilization.

“An essential state”

With 30 million inhabitants, Texas is the second most populous state in the country and this law has led patients to quickly overwhelmed clinics in other states, including Oklahoma, forcing them for lack of space to inexorably delay their abortion. .

“Oklahoma is a critical state for abortion access right now, with many Texans fleeing to Oklahoma to (get) an abortion,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive. rights, which defends the right to abortion. “These bans would further decimate access to abortion across the South” of the United States, she added.

In addition to Texas and Oklahoma, several texts also limiting access to abortion have been passed in other conservative states such as Florida or Mississippi. The legality of the text voted on in the latter is under review at the United States Supreme Court, with a decision expected in June.

During the examination of the file, its conservative judges, now ultra-majority (six out of nine) let it be understood that they could take advantage of it to reduce or even cancel the right to abortion. Recognized in the historic case “Roe v. Wade” of 1973, this right is valid today as long as the fetus is not viable, that is towards the end of the second trimester.

With AFP

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