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An operating room inside Planned Parenthood.

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

The fight for women’s reproductive rights continues.

On April 5, Oklahoma lawmakers approved a Republican bill that would make performing an abortion illegal and even punishable by up to 10 years in state prison. The Oklahoma House voted in favor of the new legislation with a sweeping vote of 70 to 14. According to The Washington Post, the bill was passed without “little discussion or debate.”

Unfortunately, this means if the Supreme Court shows no opposition to the controversial bill, individuals attempting to perform an abortion would face felony charges with a maximum fine of $100,000 in addition to jail time. The legislation, which is commonly referred to as Senate Bill 612,  passed the Senate last year. Now, the bill will head to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt for consideration, who back in September, wrote an eye-brow-raising tweet promising Oklahomans that he would “sign every piece of pro-life legislation” that came across his desk.

“It’s an honor to be the most pro-life governor in the country and I will always step up to protect the lives of unborn children,” the governnor added.

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According to CNN, Senate Bill 612 would not make exceptions in cases of rape and incest, but a woman would not be criminally charged or convicted for the death of her “unborn child.” The pending measure also does not prohibit the use, sale, or prescription of contraceptives.

The Supreme Court will most likely make a decision on the measure’s fate this summer when justices will finally rule on Mississippi’s jarring 15-week abortion ban that could overturn or hinder the historic 1973 Roe V. Wade landmark ruling that protects a woman’s right to abortion.

Reproductive rights group the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, released a statement about Tuesday’s decision, noting that it would be “devastating” for women in Oklahoma, if the bill was allowed to take effect.

“Now, Oklahomans could face a future where they would have no place left in their state to go to seek this basic health care,” they added, according to CNN.

Rep. Emily Virgin, the House Democratic leader, said in a statement:

“Unfortunately, this is what we are seeing in many Republican-controlled states: a movement by Republicans to use unconstitutional legislation like Senate Bill 612 to distract from the actual challenges our citizens face.”

Virgin added:

“As elected leaders, our focus should be on expanding access to health care, protecting public education, and addressing infrastructure needs, but instead, Republicans are more concerned with re-litigating Supreme Court decisions from the state legislature. These bills hurt people, waste taxpayer resources, and get us no closer to our shared goal of a better tomorrow.”

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