Sunday, June 11

House sends total abortion ban to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt

The Oklahoma House of Representatives on Tuesday morning passed and sent to the governor a near-total ban on abortion as abortion rights activists rallied outside the Capitol.

Senate Bill 612, by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, is a holdover from last session, when it passed the Senate and a House committee. It would outlaw all abortions except to save the life of the woman.

SB 612 passed the House floor 70-14, with 16 members not voting. Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa, who is not seeking re-election, was the only Republican voting against the measure.

It was not immediately clear whether Gov. Kevin Stitt will sign SB 612, though he has said previously he would sign any bill restricting abortion rights that comes to him.

While federal courts have recently upheld state laws severely restricting access to abortion, an outright ban on the procedure has yet to be allowed.

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Tuesday’s House vote was accompanied by passage of House Concurrent Resolution 1014, by Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland, declaring Jan. 22 a day of mourning and encouraging Oklahomans to lower flags to half-staff.

Jan. 22 is the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that guaranteed women the right to abortion.

Democrats contend SB 612 was brought up Tuesday to interfere with the abortion rights rally on the Capitol’s south steps.

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