Oklahoma’s Republican governor signs one of the nation’s strictest abortion bills into law

The bill, HB 4327, is among the strictest in the country regarding abortion and is a clear rebuke of protections granted in the famous 1973 Roe v. Wade’s case that legalized abortion nationwide. Abortion rights advocates have pledged to file a legal challenge to the law, which takes effect immediately.

Under this procedure, abortion is prohibited at any stage of pregnancy, except for medical emergencies or if the pregnancy is the result of rape, sexual assault or incest and reported to law enforcement authorities.

The law defines “fertilization” as “the fusion of a human sperm with a human egg”. Although the bill considers pregnancy to begin at fertilization and not implantation, the law does not restrict the use of contraceptives that prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. According to the bill, abortion “does not include the use, prescription, administration, purchase, or sale of Plan B birth control, pills, or any other type of contraceptive or emergency contraception.”

After signing the bill into law, State said in a statement, “I have promised the people of Oklahoma, as governor, that I will sign every piece of pro-life legislation that appears on my desk and I am proud to keep that promise today.”

“From the moment life begins at conception, we have a responsibility as human beings to do everything we can to protect the life of this child and the life of the mother,” State continued, adding that “if other states want to pass different laws, that is their right, but we in Oklahoma will always defend life “.

The governor’s signature comes as Republican-led states have pushed strict abortion measures in anticipation of the US Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe in a case involving Mississippi’s abortion law. Earlier this month, a leaked draft opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito showed the conservative-majority court was preparing to overturn a federal constitutional right to abortion.

The final opinion on the case has not yet been released, and the voices and language could still be changed before then. The opinion is not expected to be issued until late June.

Although many states have so-called trigger laws, which prohibit abortions in the event of a Supreme Court overturning Roe, the Oklahoma bill became effective upon State’s approval.

State has already signed off on two controversial abortion measures this year, including one that was modeled on the Texas abortion law that allows citizens to take civil action against abortion providers to enforce the law. In April, the governor of Oklahoma signed a near-total abortion ban into law making abortion illegal in the state, with an exception only in the event of a medical emergency. This law will take effect this summer if the courts do not block it.

Abortion rights advocates warn that an Oklahoma ban would eliminate access to abortion across the South, and would be devastating not only to Oklahoma residents but also Texans seeking abortion care in the state.

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Rebecca Reese, Jeremy Gresham, and Devan Cole contributed to this report.

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