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Oklahoma Enacts Strict Abortion Ban That Would Prosecute Providers

Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, signed a bill to outlaw most abortions in Oklahoma and punish providers severely if they perform them. The New York Times notes 30 states have introduced near-total abortion bans this year.

Oklahoma: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt Signs Near-Total Abortion Ban

Oklahoma is poised to outlaw most abortions come August after Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday signed a bill to classify performing the procedure as a felony. In a signing ceremony, Stitt approved Senate Bill 612 that will punish medical providers who perform abortions with up to 10 years in prison or fines of up to $ 100,000. A reproductive rights group already plans to sue the state over the new law. (Forman, 4/12)

The New York Times: What’s Happening To Abortion Legislation In States Across The US

Near-total abortion bans have been introduced in 30 states this year, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights. Bans have passed at least one legislative chamber in seven states: Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia. They have been enacted in four of those states: Oklahoma, Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming. (Kasakove, 4/12)

In abortion updates from Florida and Louisiana –

Tampa Bay Times: Judge Signs Off On 24-Hour Waiting Period For Abortions In Florida

After nearly seven years of legal battling, a Leon County circuit judge has approved a 24-hour waiting period for abortions in Florida. Judge Angela Dempsey issued a ruling Friday that upheld the constitutionality of a 2015 law that called for women to wait 24 hours after initial visits with physicians before having abortions. Dempsey indicated during a hearing last month that she would uphold the law but did not issue the ruling until Friday. (4/12)

Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Louisiana Lawmakers Seek To Restrict Women’s Access To Abortion Drugs

A bill to make it more difficult for women to secure the medicine needed for a drug-induced abortion during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and potentially criminalize providers and patients advanced Tuesday in the Louisiana Legislature. Senate Bill 388 by Slidell Republican Sen. Sharon Hewitt would make it illegal for companies to provide the two drugs – mifepristone and misoprostol – through the mail with criminal penalties as consequences. (Hilburn, 4/12)

In other abortion news from Idaho, Texas, Wisconsin, and elsewhere –

KTVB: Catholic Church Asks To Intervene In Idaho’s Abortion Lawsuit

The Roman Catholic Church in Idaho is asking the state’s Supreme Court to let it intervene in a lawsuit over a new law banning nearly all abortions. The Diocese of Boise filed the request in support of the abortion ban on Monday. Idaho last month became the first state to enact legislation modeled after the Texas statute banning abortions after about six weeks. The law would allow potential relatives of the embryo or fetus to each sue an abortion provider for a minimum of $ 20,000 in damages. (4/12)

The Washington Post: A Call, A Text, An Apology: How An Abortion Arrest And A Since-Dropped Murder Charge Shook Up A Texas Town

Calixtro Villarreal’s phone rank Saturday afternoon, about 48 hours after his client, Lizelle Herrera, was arrested and charged with murder – over what local authorities alleged was a “self-induced abortion.” ”It was Gocha Ramirez, the district attorney in Starr County, Tex., A remote area on the border with Mexico. Herrera should never have been charged, Ramirez told the lawyer, according to a person familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private interactions. (Kitchener, Reinhard and Crites, 4/13)

Wisconsin State Journal: Republicans Laud New ‘Anti-Abortion’ Measure, But Experts Say It Has Little-To-No Effect

Republicans are applauding Democratic Gov. Tony Evers for signing an anti-abortion provision into law, but genetic counselors are saying the measure to prohibit them from encouraging patients to obtain abortions has no practical effect. That’s because genetic counselors – who interpret genetic testing results and tell families how, for example, a condition like Down syndrome could affect them – say they don’t try to persuade expectant parents to receive abortions. (Shur, 4/13)

FiveThirtyEight: What Americans Can Expect If Abortion Pills Become Their Only Safe Option

The things Desireé Luckey remembers most about finding out she was pregnant for the first time are how fast the little test strip turned positive – and how irritated it made her feel. It was one more hassle in a summer that already felt overwhelming. Within the span of a few weeks in 2012, Luckey had graduated college, ended an emotionally unsafe relationship and started a new – but frustratingly unpaid – job with former President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. From her dorm bathroom, she immediately began figuring out what she’d need to do to get an abortion. (Koerty ande Thomson-DeVeaux, 4/12)

Where can you travel to get an abortion? –

WBUR: Abortion Rights Advocates Create Guide To Clinics That Do And Do Not Offer Abortions

An abortion advocacy group has created a new online resource guide to abortion care, clinics and financial assistance across New England. Advocates say it will help distinguish between clinics that offer abortions and those that oppose them. The website, created by Reproductive Equity Now, was released Tuesday as groups that support and oppose abortion restrictions gear up for a US Supreme Court decision that could overturn Roe v. .Wade. (Bebinger, 4/12)

Maine Public: New Online Tool Connects Women With Abortion Care Providers In New England

A first-of-its-kind online tool to find abortion care in New England is being rolled out on Tuesday by Massachusetts-based Reproductive Equity Now. Executive Director Rebecca Hart Holder says the organization wanted to create a centralized place where people can search by zip code to find unbiased information about abortion care. She says there’s urgency because the US Supreme Court is deliberating a case that could roll back abortion protections enshrined under Roe v. Wade. (Wight, 4/12)

Missouri Independent: With Abortion Bills Stretching Past State Lines, Missouri Is Already Headed To A ‘Post-Roe World’

As restrictions on accessing an abortion in Missouri have steadily tightened, nearly 9,800 Missourians traveled to Kansas and Illinois to receive abortions in 2020, compared to only 167 procedures that occurred within state lines that year. That number could drop even further if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion – causing a Missouri law to kick in that would ban the procedure except in medical emergencies. And after years of limiting access to abortion in Missouri, lawmakers are now eyeing policy for a world in which the constitutional protections for the procedure are no more. “Nationally, everybody is looking to a post-Roe world,” said Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold. “In Missouri, we’re almost already there.” (Weinberg, 4/12)

Also –

Bloomberg: Yelp Joins City, Apple to Offer Workers Abortion Travel Benefits

In the wake of increasingly restrictive abortion laws sweeping the US, Yelp Inc. is the latest company to cover travel costs for employees who need to leave their home states to get reproductive care. The company has nearly 4,000 workers in the US and just over 200 in Texas, where a bill has banned abortions after six weeks. Yelp will offer its benefit through the company’s insurance provider starting next month, according to a person familiar with the matter. It will also extend coverage to dependents. “As a remote-first company with a distributed workforce, this new benefit allows our US employees and their dependents to have equitable access to reproductive care, no matter where they live,” Miriam Warren, the company’s chief diversity officer, said in an emailed statement. (Butler, 4/12)

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