Nevada Governor Signs Pro-Choice Bill and Oklahoma Abortion Restrictions Struck Down
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In a significant blow to the pro-life movement, Nevada's Republican governor, Joe Lombardo, signed a bill into law on Tuesday that provides protection to abortion providers who violate abortion laws in other states. The legislation also prevents health care licensing boards from disqualifying individuals based on their involvement in providing abortions.
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Nevada and Oklahoma pro-life movements are set back.
Under the new law, arrest warrants or extradition of individuals wanted in other states for performing illegal abortions will not be executed in Nevada if the same abortion procedure is legal in the state. Furthermore, state agencies are prohibited from providing any information that could aid another state in imposing penalties on those who perform illegal abortions, as long as those procedures are legal in Nevada.
Even health care licensing boards will be unable to disqualify individuals for violating abortion laws in other states, as long as those laws align with Nevada's legislation.
Governor Lombardo, who is endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee and had previously stated his pro-life stance, became the third Republican governor to sign pro-choice legislation following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June 2022. Vermont Governor Phil Scott and former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker also enacted similar pro-choice laws.
Oklahoma Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Restrictions
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Wednesday, striking down two abortion laws in the state on the grounds that they violated the Oklahoma Constitution.
One of the laws prohibited all abortions except in cases of a medical emergency, while the second law banned abortions once a fetal heartbeat was detected, with exceptions for medical emergencies or instances where rape or incest had been reported to law enforcement. Both bills also allowed civil lawsuits against abortion providers.
Currently, abortion in Oklahoma is only permitted when the life of the mother is at risk. However, the Supreme Court objected to the language used in defining a "medical emergency," asserting that it forced women to wait until their condition worsened before seeking an abortion.
The Supreme Court referred to its own precedent, recognizing the "inherent right of a pregnant woman to terminate a pregnancy when necessary to preserve her life."
Republican Governor Kevin Stitt voiced his criticism of the ruling, stating, "I again wholeheartedly disagree with the Oklahoma Supreme Court's use of activism to create a right to an abortion in Oklahoma." He further accused the court of overreaching and interfering with the democratic process by overturning legislation supported by the public. Governor Stitt affirmed his commitment to protecting unborn lives and making Oklahoma the most pro-family state in the nation.
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