Lawmakers in Oklahoma have passed a bill that would effectively ban abortion in the US state.
Under the controversial bill – passed by the Oklahoma state senate on Thursday with a vote of 33 to 12 – the act of performing an abortion would be made a crime. Any doctor found doing so, could face up to three years in prison and barred from practising in the state. The only exception to the bill – which calls abortion ‘unprofessional conduct’ – would be if the termination was to save a woman’s life.
Abortion is legal in the US and critics say the bill is unconstitutional. Oklahoma currently has just two licensed abortion clinics, in the wake of new regulations being enforced.
The legislation has yet to be passed by state Governor Mary Fallin, who has previous backed moved to limit abortion. Fallin is widely thought to be a potential running mate for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump who, earlier this year, was forced to backtrack aftersaying women who had illegal abortions should be ‘punished’. Fallin has not yet commented on the bill. If she fails to sign it – or veto it – within five days, it will automatically become law.