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         July 2016

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Oklahoma and South Carolina in the news from North America


Two North American states have been in the news concerning changes to current abortion laws. Oklahoma lawmakers passed a bill which would make performing an abortion a crime for doctors, who could also be sentenced to up to three years in prison and banned from practising medicine in the state.@ Anti-abortion groups had hoped it would spark a legal case that would overturn the Roe vs. Wade ruling which made abortion legal in 1973. However, the Republican Governor Mary Fallin – who had previously backed further abortion restrictions – vetoed the bill, feeling it was “too vague and unable to withstand a legal challenge.” @


A week later, Columbian Governor, Nikki Haley signed legislation making it illegal for a woman to obtain an abortion once the pregnancy has progressed past twenty weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest. The only cases where abortion would be allowed past this point are where the foetus “has been diagnosed with a fatal ‘anomaly’ and will die, or the mother’s life is threatened. Doctors who disobey the new rules would face jail time.”