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Oklahoma adopts bill outlawing abortion

AFP , Thursday 19 May 2016
Views: 1059
Views: 1059

Lawmakers in the US state of Oklahoma adopted a bill on Thursday that would make performing abortions a crime punishable by up to three years in prison.

The bill, which still has to be signed by the state's governor, was passed 33-12 in the Senate with no discussion or debate.

The measure was introduced by Republican senator Nathan Dahm, who has said he hoped it would lead to overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, who is opposed to abortion, declined to comment on the measure until her staff has reviewed the bill, local news reports said.

Fallin has been mentioned as a potential running mate to Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Abortion remains a hot-button issue in America and a number of states have moved in recent years to enact abortion restrictions that have led to the closure of many clinics.

The Center for Reproductive Rights said the measure adopted by Oklahoma lawmakers was the first of its kind and was blatantly unconstitutional and insulting to women and their families.

"Policymakers in Oklahoma should focus on advancing policies that will truly promote women's health and safety, not abortion restrictions that do just the opposite," the center said in a letter to Fallin urging her to veto the measure. "Anti-choice politicians in the state have methodically restricted access to abortion and neglected to advance policies that truly address the challenges women and families face every day."

Similar anti-abortion bills passed in Utah and Louisiana have been struck down and ruled unconstitutional.

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