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Four local abortion clinics stopped providing abortion services in anticipation of this legislation, which makes exceptions only in cases of medical emergency, rape, or incest.
On Wednesday, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed the strictest U.S. anti-abortion law, which prohibits pregnancy interruption from fertilization and allows citizens to sue people who help women terminate their pregnancies.
"I promised Oklahomans that I would sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk," Stitt alleged, adding that he was proud to keep that commitment.
Four local abortion clinics stopped providing abortion services in anticipation of this legislation, which immediately took effect with Stitt's signature and only made exceptions in cases of medical emergency, rape, or incest.
Oklahoma is among the country's Republican-led states rushing to pass anti-abortion laws this year and anticipate the U.S. Supreme Court's intention to overturn the 1973-established constitutional right to abortion.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, a global advocacy group based in New York, said it would imminently file a challenge to the ban and seek to block it in court. "Oklahoma is now the only state in the U.S. to outlaw abortion while the constitutional right to abortion still stands," the Center argued.
Recently, Oklahoma enacted another bill that banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The enforcement provision in this state's anti-abortion bills was modeled after Texas legislation that took effect in September and stopped local clinics from performing this practice.
In the past, Oklahoma had become a destination for Texas women seeking abortions after six weeks of gestation. However, under the current restrictions, these regions' patients will have to travel to farther states such as Kansas, New Mexico and Colorado to end their pregnancies.