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Oklahoma House passes bill banning most abortions

The Oklahoma House of Representatives has passed legislation that would ban nearly all abortions via an enforcement mechanism similar to that of the influential Texas Heartbeat Act.


It sets a minimum amount of damages at $10,000, and lawsuits can be brought for up to four years after the abortion, against anyone who “aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion” or “intends to engage in the conduct described by this act.”

The bill is modeled after the now-famous Texas Heartbeat Act, which only applies to babies with detectable heartbeats and so far has avoided injunction by the judiciary in large part because of its unique enforcement mechanism that relies on civil suits by private citizens, rather than prosecution by the government.

Both measures were drafted by Texas Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell. The Idaho legislature recently passed a similar bill.

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