Oklahoma Gov. Stitt signs Oklahoma Heartbeat Act 

By Dave Andrusko

Gov. Kevin Stitt, who had promised to sign all pro-life legislation that reached his desk, kept his word again Tuesday when he signed the Oklahoma Heartbeat Act into law. 

“I am proud to sign SB 1503, the Oklahoma Heartbeat Act into law,” Stitt tweeted Tuesday after signing the bill. “I want Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country because I represent all four million Oklahomans who overwhelmingly want to protect the unborn.”  The law has an “emergency provision” which means it took effect immediately after the governor signed it.

Also on Tuesday the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected the request of abortion providers for a temporary injunction to block the law from taking effect. The vote was 6-3. 

“As a result, until the Court makes a further determination, most abortion in Oklahoma is banned, cutting off access for the thousands of people who seek abortion care in Oklahoma each year,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.

According to Mary Kekatos of ABC News, “Several groups, including the ​​Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice, have already filed a joint lawsuit to block S.B. 1503.”

HB 1503 was co-authored by Sen. Julie Daniels and Rep. Todd Russ.

“Combined with other Oklahoma statutes now on the books, it is hoped the practice of abortion will cease in our state for all time,” Russ said in an earlier statement. “We will continue our work until that is accomplished.”

On March 10, when the bill passed the Senate, Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat told the committee, “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,” according to Fox 23 News reports. “We need to save unborn life.”

Tony Lauinger, Vice President of National Right to Life and State Chairman, Oklahomans For Life, told the Associated Press’s Sean Murphy that he’s optimistic the measure will be deemed constitutional.

“It’s identical to the bill that was enacted by the Texas Legislature last year, and that bill has passed muster with the United States Supreme Court,” Lauinger said. “We are hopeful that this bill will save the lives of more unborn children here in Oklahoma as well.”