Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) on Wednesday signed into law the strictest abortion ban in the U.S., "making the state the first in the nation to effectively end availability of the procedure," The Associated Press reports.
The law takes effect immediately, and prohibits all abortions at any stage of pregnancy, except in instances of rape or incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger.
"I promised Oklahomans that as governor I would sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk and I am proud to keep that promise today," Stitt said in a statement.
A group of abortion providers and advocates said Wednesday they'd challenge the law in court, CNN notes. The bill is one of at least three anti-abortion measures sent to Stitt this year, AP notes, including one that deputizes private citizens to enforce abortion bans and one that makes performing an abortion illegal in Oklahoma, except in instances of a medical emergency. The latter is set to take effect this summer, if not blocked.
The new law is just one of many restrictive abortion bans passed in Republican-led legislatures over the last year, CNN and AP note. The measure arrives after a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion appeared to throw the fate of federal abortion rights as protected under Roe v. Wade into question.