The White House condemned a new abortion bill that passed Oklahoma’s Legislature Thursday, calling the bill “extreme,” “absurd” and “ultra MAGA.”
The bill, H.B. 4327, would ban all abortions after the moment of conception except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life. The bill bans any procedures that “cause the death of an unborn child,” which it defines as a “human fetus or embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.”
Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt has indicated that he will sign the bill, which will go into effect immediately.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre condemned the bill in a statement Thursday night.
“The President believes that women have the fundamental right to make their own reproductive health choices,” Jean-Pierre noted, adding that the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade “has been the law of the land for almost 50 years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned.”
“Today’s action by the Oklahoma legislature is the most extreme effort to undo these fundamental rights we have seen to date,” the press secretary said. “In addition, it adopts Texas’ absurd plan to allow private citizens to sue their neighbors for providing reproductive health care and helping women to exercise their constitutional rights.”
“This is part of a growing effort by ultra MAGA officials across the country to roll back the freedoms we should not take for granted in this country,” Jean-Pierre added, referencing a Biden administration term playing off of former President Trump’s 2016 slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
She claimed that Trump-style Republicans “are starting with reproductive rights, but the American people need to know that other fundamental rights, including the right to contraception and marriage equality, are at risk.”
As Jean-Pierre noted, H.B. 4327 empowers non-governmental actors to bring civil suits against people who perform or aid and abet abortions, and damages for violating the law will be set at a minimum of $10,000 per abortion.
Gov. Stitt already signed a Texas-style ban that prohibits abortions after cardiac activity can be detected in the embryo, which is around six weeks. It also allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a woman acquire an abortion for up to $10,000.
Stitt signed another bill that will make performing abortion a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. That will take effect later this year.
Planned Parenthood announced that it would challenge the new law in court once Stitt signs it.