States take stance on abortion rights

Kevin Stitt signed a bill to ban Abortions in Oklahoma on April 12, 2022. 
“We want Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country.”

Photo by SUE OGROCKI/AP.

Kevin Stitt signed a bill to ban Abortions in Oklahoma on April 12, 2022. “We want Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country.”

Novalea Verno, Co-Edior-in-Chief

    Following Texas’ revolutionary passing of the strictest abortion ban seen to date, many states have found themselves conflicted about the future state of the Roe v. Wade ruling.

    The state of Maryland made headlines as state officials vetoed Governor Larry Hogan’s push for pro-life legislation in order to expand abortion rights. The bill passed 90-46 in the House of Representatives and 29-15 in the Senate. Now, trained medical professionals such as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and trained physician assistants are now able to perform abortions. This bill will also require insurance providers to cover the cost of an abortion. Maryland’s steps towards protecting the Roe v. Wade standing are not unheard of as 14 other states have a similar bill in effect.

    Nebraska has also made a push to protect the right to abortion by blocking a pro-life bill from reaching the Senate. LB 933 is a bill that would make it a felony for anyone to provide or assist an abortion. The penalty for performing an abortion would fall on the doctors and not the mothers. This bill offers no exception for cases of rape or incest. After an eight-hour meeting in the House, the bill failed to reach 33 votes to pass.

    One state that has made a push in the opposite direction is Oklahoma. Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill that makes it a crime to perform an abortion. The penalty for performing or assisting this procedure could potentially result in up to 10 years in federal prison and up to $100,000 in fines. The only exception to this ban is if the mother’s life is in trouble and can only be saved by aborting the child.

    “We want to outlaw abortion in the state of Oklahoma. I promised Oklahomans that I would sign every pro-life bill that hits my desk, and that’s what we’re doing here today,” said Stitt.

    The passing of this bill has sparked a lot of controversies, specifically among pro-choice Democrats.

    “Protecting the right recognized in Roe v. Wade continues to be a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration, and we call on Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would shut down these attacks and codify this long-recognized, constitutional right,” said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, in response to Oklahoma’s actions.

    As debates over abortion rights spark all over the country and the threat of Supreme Court involvement looms overhead, many states will continue to rush to pass bills that support their own stances on abortion.