Oklahoma lawmakers pass anti-abortion bills ahead of Supreme Court decision

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Oklahoma lawmakers passed a package of anti-abortion bills ahead of a Supreme Court decision.

On Monday, a state Senate committee passed a package of five anti-abortion bills ahead of a Supreme Court decision that is expected in the fall. It comes as pressure has mounted in recent years for Oklahoma lawmakers to push abortion restrictions as far as possible.

Oklahoma and other red states are preparing for what appears to be the likelihood that the U.S. Supreme Court will either overturn the right to abortion completely or back up the line where states are allowed to ban abortions for 15 weeks.

“This is an opportunity to save more Oklahomans, I hope that we see a good decision out of the U.S. Supreme Court, but we can’t wait around for that,” Sen. Greg Treat said.

The Senate Republican leader Treat ran most of the bills on Monday. They all passed on party lines.

He said that the bills prepare the state for whatever the court decides to do with one goal in mind.

“We need to save unborn life. This bill does that and it is my desire that we continue to push it as far as we possibly can,” Treat said.

One major bill was the one by Sen. Julie Daniels that would ban abortions when there is a fetal heartbeat, as early as around six weeks.

It was modeled after the controversial Texas law that lets individuals enforce it instead of the state. People could sue anyone who performed or abetted an abortion, even including someone who knew they were driving a woman to an abortion.

Many legal experts said that these bills are designed to avoid the typical ways people challenge laws in court. Democratic Senator Carri Hicks said these bills are concerning.

“I’m terrified for the future of our state and for the safety and security of women. We know that as we continue to erode access to medical services, the likelihood for more dangerous potential situations increases,” Hicks said.

Other bills that were passed included one that would let you vote on whether to put an anti-abortion amendment into the state Constitution. Another would ban abortion even earlier than a fetal heartbeat.

These bills have to pass the full Senate and then go to the House.