Oklahoma lawmakers gave final legislative approval for a bill that would make abortion illegal in the state, with medical professionals facing up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
The bill would criminalise doctors performing an abortion in almost any case, except where it could ‘save the life of a pregnant woman’ facing a medical emergency.
That means even women who have become pregnant through rape or incest would still have to carry their baby to full term.
It's one of the most restrictive abortion rulings in the United States.
The bill will now have to be approved by Republican governor Kevin Stitt, who previously said he would sign off on any anti-abortion legislation that came across his desk.
According to Yahoo!, Republican Jim Olsen, who authored the bill, said he was ‘thrilled’ to see the proposed law make its way through the Senate as this legislation could see ‘many lives of babies saved'.
The wave of restrictions comes as the US Supreme Court weighs in on a case that could overturn abortion rights that have been in place for 50 years.
The Republican-controlled House in Oklahoma voted 70-14 for the bill to be sent to the governor’s office and there was little discussion and or debate about it.
However, the bill’s passage comes as protesters held a 'Bans Off Oklahoma' outside the capitol yesterday (April 6).
Interim President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes Emily Wales said that the draconian laws would affect women’s safety, the Guardian reported.
"These legislators have continued their relentless attacks on our freedoms," she said.
"These restrictions are not about improving the safety of the work that we do. They are about shaming and stigmatising people who need and deserve abortion access."
Abortion rights have come under intense scrutiny in the last year, as Texas made abortion illegal at just six weeks of pregnancy.
Since the new law was introduced, Planned Parenthood reported a jaw-dropping 800 per cent increase in abortion patients in the state between September 1 and December 31 last year.
Similarly, Tennessee is considering an abortion ban modelled on the Texas legislation.
Last month, a bill was proposed to ban abortion entirely, even in the face of rape or incest.
The bill has also proposed that families of rapists can sue anyone who helps rape victims get access to abortion, claiming up to $10,000 worth of damages.
Democratic state representative Bob Freeman spoke with TODAY and said: "This bill, while it's being framed as an anti-abortion bill, is really not doing anything to further restrict abortion.
"It's really just going to bring all sorts of lawsuits and force people to have to potentially answer questions about a miscarriage."Featured Image Credit: Alamy