Oklahoma lawmaker plans to file Texas-style abortion bill

Mid-South

FILE – People attend the Women’s March ATX rally, Saturday, Oct., 2, 2021, at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas. An expected decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming year to severely restrict abortion rights or overturn Roe v. Wade entirely is setting off a renewed round of abortion battles in state legislatures. (AP Photo/Stephen Spillman, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (NewsNation Now) — An Oklahoma representative plans to introduce a bill that would allow anyone in the state to sue doctors who perform an abortion that is not meant to save the mother’s life.

State Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, said under his bill, plaintiffs would be able to seek up to $10,000 in damages in civil court against abortion providers or anyone who “aids and abets” such an abortion.

“When it comes to fighting for the lives of the unborn, we must be willing to do whatever it takes,” said Roberts.

Oklahoma routinely passes some of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country. Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt has said he would sign any anti-abortion bill the Legislature sends him.

The legislation Roberts intends to introduce mirrors part of a Texas law that has become the nation’s biggest curb to abortion in almost half a century. Republican lawmakers from other states, such as Florida and Ohio, have since filed similar bills modeled after Texas’ law.

The Texas law, which was allowed to take effect Sept. 1 by the U.S. Supreme Court, bans abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity in an embryo, which is typically around six weeks of pregnancy. Abortion rights activists argue that this is before many women even realize they are expecting.

Abortion providers in Oklahoma and other surrounding states have said they’ve seen an influx of women from Texas seeking abortions, some driving hours through the middle of the night and including patients as young as 12 years old, since the abortion restrictions were passed.

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