Politics

Oklahoma Lawmakers Pass Texas-Style Pro-Life Bill

Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Mary Rooke Staff Writer
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The Oklahoma State House of Representatives passed a new pro-life bill late Tuesday that would ban all abortions in the state.

HB 4327 takes the Texas Heartbeat Act a step further by banning all abortions from the moment of conception up until birth, except for if the mother’s life is at risk, according to the bill.

“A physician may not knowingly perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman, unless such abortion is performed to save the life of the mother,” HB 4327 stated.

Much like the Texas law, the state of Oklahoma will not be in charge of enforcing this bill. Instead, the act will be “enforced exclusively through private civil actions,” according to the legislation. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Oklahoma Gov. To Announce Sweeping School Choice Reform)

“Any person, other than an officer or employee of a state or local government entity in this state, may bring a civil action against any person who performs or induces an abortion in violation of this act; knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion,” HB 4327 stated.

The bill added that anyone paying for or reimbursing the costs of abortion could also be subjected to private civil action. If an abortion provider is found guilty, the bill allows the claimant statutory damages of no less than $10,000 for each abortion that the defendant performed or helped facilitate.

Pro-Life Republican Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm, who is running against Republican Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford in the 2022 primary, said he looks forward to seeing this legislation pass the Oklahoma state Senate.

“The passage of HB4327 is another step to protecting lives of the unborn in Oklahoma. The government’s primary responsibility is to protect our rights: especially the right to life,” Dahm told the Daily Caller. “Those of us in elected office have an obligation to protect the unborn by any means necessary & this is another victory on that path. I look forward to the full passage of HB4327 through the Senate.”

“It is past time we end abortion in Oklahoma,” Dahm added.

The Oklahoma bill also defines into law the definition of several key terms, including pregnancy and unborn child. “‘Unborn child’ means a human fetus or embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization until birth,” the bill stated.