Okla. Senate approves bill barring doctors from performing abortions

Okla. Senate approves bill barring doctors from performing abortions
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Oklahoma lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill making it a felony for doctors to perform abortions, which opponents say is essentially a ban on the procedure.

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The Republican bill, which has been called the first of its kind nationally, will now be sent to the desk of GOP Gov. Mary Fallin. She has five days to sign or veto the bill before it automatically becomes law.  

The bill is all but certain to wind up in court if it wins approval from Fallin, who has typically supported anti-abortion-rights measures.

Critics of the bill have long warned the provision is unconsitituional, and have threatened to take legal action if it is enacted.  

“This total ban on abortion is a new low. When abortion is illegal, women and their health, futures, and families suffer,” Amanda Allen, a lawyer at the Center for Reproductive Rights, wrote in a statement Thursday.

Under the law, most doctors who perform abortions stand to lose their license. The only exception is for doctors who perform abortions to save a mother’s life; it does not exempt procedures that are performed in cases or rape or incest.

The state Senate approved the latest version of the bill, 33-12, on Thursday. It passed the state House in April.