While a slew of US states has begun to enact harsh anti-abortion legislation, Oklahoma has taken the lead by enacting a law that prohibits abortions from the time of “fertilization,” the country’s most stringent prohibition yet. The laws have been widely criticized for being unscientific (and misusing and misleading science), but one Oklahoma State Representative has responded by proposing a new bill that would require vasectomies for all pubescent boys until they can prove they are financially and emotionally capable of supporting a child.
“I’d like to invite you to co-author a bill that I’m considering next year that would require every male to have a mandatory vasectomy when he reaches puberty, which would only be reversible when he reaches a point of financial and emotional stability,” Democrat Mickey Dollens said in a statement to GOP lawmakers. “If you think that’s ridiculous, I guess you understand how half of Oklahomans feel.”
According to his address, he is contemplating the law for next year. Dollens made the comments last week while lawmakers in Oklahoma discussed whether to enact HB 4327, which prohibits abortions after “fertilization” and permits private persons to sue abortion doctors who knowingly conduct or induce an abortion. The measure, which is a blatant revocation of Roe versus Wade safeguards, only permits abortion to save the life of the pregnant woman or in circumstances of rape and incest. Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signed it into law yesterday, and it goes into effect immediately.
“As governor, I promised Oklahomans that I would sign every pro-life bill that came across my desk, and I am happy to be able to uphold that commitment today,” Stitt said. Dollens’ comments reflect the dissatisfaction of many Americans who oppose overturning Roe vs Wade and eliminating abortion rights. Bills like this have been criticized for ignoring several studies that demonstrate that providing legal abortions and contraception is the greatest method to reduce abortion rates, and that the state should not have such broad powers over an individual’s rights.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed the nation’s strongest abortion ban into law on Wednesday, officially ending the procedure’s availability in the state. Similar to Texas legislation passed last year, state lawmakers adopted a prohibition enforced through civil lawsuits rather than criminal punishment. With a few exceptions, the legislation takes effect immediately after Stitt’s signing and outlaws all abortions. As soon as the law is signed, abortion providers have stated that they will stop conducting the practice.