Abortion restrictions continue to tighten in some US states. The bicameral Parliament of Oklahoma (state in the south of the United States) approved, Thursday, April 28, a text of law prohibiting the voluntary interruption of pregnancy (IVG) after six weeks of pregnancy. This conservative state had been welcoming thousands of Texan women for several months, seeking to have an abortion, after the adoption of a similar text in this neighboring state.
The text voted by the lower house of the Oklahoma legislative body provides for medical exceptions for the authorization to terminate a pregnancy, but no exemption is provided for in the event of rape or incest. It is now up to the Republican Governor to sign it and bring it into force.
A few hours after the first vote in the lower house, the Oklahoma Senate approved another text, this time prohibiting any abortion, regardless of the stage of pregnancy, but including exceptions in case of medical emergencies, rape or incest. This text will now make the parliamentary shuttle to the lower house.
Access to abortion limited in several conservative states
Le 1is September 2021, one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States came into effect in the Republican state of Texas, prohibiting any abortion from the moment the fetal heartbeat is perceptible on ultrasound, about four weeks after fertilization.
With 30 million inhabitants, Texas is the second most populous state in the country, and this law has led patients to turn to clinics, quickly overwhelmed, in other states, including Oklahoma, forcing them, fault space, to inexorably delay their abortion.
In addition to Texas and Oklahoma, other conservative states such as Florida or Mississippi have also passed texts limiting access to abortion. The legality of the text voted in the latter state is under review at the United States Supreme Court, with a decision expected in June.
During the examination of the case, the conservative judges who compose it, now in the majority (six out of nine), suggested that they could take advantage of it to reduce, or even cancel, the right to abortion. Recognized in the landmark case “Roe v. Wade” of 1973, this right is applicable today as long as the fetus is not viable, that is towards the end of the second trimester.