Oklahoma lawmakers pass bill that would make performing an abortion a felony

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Oklahoma Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY -The Oklahoma Legislature has passed a bill that would make performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

The Center for Reproductive Rights said the measure is the first of its kind in the nation.

The bill also would restrict any physician who performs an abortion from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in Oklahoma.

With no discussion or debate, the Senate voted 33-12 Thursday for the bill by Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm.

A handful of Republicans joined with Democrats in voting against the bill, which now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin.

A spokesman said Fallin will withhold comment until her staff has time to review it.

Dahm said he’s hopeful the measure could lead to overturning Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide.

Abortion rights groups have said the bill is unconstitutional.

“Against a backdrop of a Presidential nominee threatening to punish women for accessing abortion, Oklahoma’s new bill criminalizing this vital reproductive service is reckless and dangerous,” said Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “This bill puts doctors in the cross hairs for providing women with the option of exercising our fundamental right to decide how and when to start a family. And it creates penalties for doctors doing their jobs: performing a safe and legal medical procedure.”

“This obviously unconstitutional bill will never withstand legal scrutiny and is designed to scare doctors and shame women. It is a shameful new low for the anti-choice movement,” Hogue continued. “This bill is not about protecting women. It is about advancing a far-right wing agenda that is out of step with the 7 in 10 Americans who support legal access to abortion. Governor Fallin should veto this bill immediately.”

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