Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) on Monday signed three anti-abortion bills into law, including one that would mean doctors who perform the procedure could be charged with homicide.
One of the measures, known as H.B. 2441, criminalizes abortions performed after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Doctors who perform abortions after a heartbeat has been detected can be found guilty of homicide under the legislation.
However, the legislation provides an exception if the procedure is done to save the life of the mother or to “avert serious risk” of physical impairment, not “including psychological or emotional conditions.”
Another one of the measures, H.B. 1102, would include an abortion under Oklahoma’s statues for “unprofessional conduct” by doctors, unless the procedure is necessary to prevent death or other serious impairment to the mother.
The final measure, H.B. 1904, requires that physicians who perform abortions be certified in gynecology and obstetrics.
Stitt on Monday tweeted that he is "keeping my promise to sign all pro-life legislation," calling the legislation "laws protecting the lives of the unborn!"
(3/4) I'm keeping my promise to sign all pro-life legislation. We now have three more laws protecting the lives of the unborn! HB 2441, HB 1904, and HB 1102. pic.twitter.com/PVdRBELNZg— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) April 26, 2021
In most pregnancies, a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks, which can be before a person even knows that they are pregnant.
The legislation, which is currently set to take effect Nov. 1, has been criticized by abortion rights groups, and one or more of the laws will likely be challenged in court, according to multiple reports.
Oklahoma has previously passed bills restricting abortions in the state, but many have been overturned in court.