The Oklahoma Legislature approved a bill on Thursday prohibiting abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, a ban that could sharply reduce abortion access not only for women in the state but for those who have been crossing its borders to work around increasingly strict anti-abortion laws across the South.
The bill is modeled on one that took effect in Texas in September. It bans abortion after cardiac fetal activity, generally around six weeks of pregnancy, and requires enforcement by civilians, allowing them to sue any doctor who performs or induces the abortion, or anyone who “aids or abets” one.
Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, signed a law this month that outlaws abortion entirely except to save the life of a pregnant woman “in a medical emergency,” and makes the procedure a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $100,000 fine.
While that law will take effect in late August, the bill the Legislature sent to Mr. Stitt’s desk Thursday would take effect immediately if signed.