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OKLAHOMA CITY (LifeSiteNews) — Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt “took abortion advocates by surprise” Tuesday when he signed into law a “Life at Conception” bill making it a felony to kill an unborn baby at any gestational age except in cases of “medical emergency.”

“I promised Oklahomans that I would sign every pro-life bill that hits my desk and that’s what we’re doing today,” Stitt, a Christian father of six, said Tuesday as he signed the legislation. “We want Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country. We want to outlaw abortion in the state of Oklahoma.”

Senate Bill 612, which is slated to go into effect this summer, provides that “a person shall not purposely perform or attempt to perform an abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency.”

Many pro-life advocates argue that there is never a circumstance in which abortion is medically necessary.

Under the new law, anyone convicted of “performing or attempting to perform” an illegal abortion under the new law will “be guilty of a felony” punishable by an up to $100,000 fine and/or 10 years in prison. Women who seek or obtain abortions will not be charged with a criminal offense. 

Republican state senator Nathan Dahm, who authored the bill, said in a statement that from his “first day in office, protecting the unborn has been one of my top priorities.”

“Senate Bill 612 is the strongest pro-life legislation in the country right now, which effectively eliminates abortion in Oklahoma,” Dahm said.

“No one should be able to intentionally take an innocent life,” he continued, adding that the new law “defends life from conception, will stop the murder of the unborn and end the massacre that has been taking place in our state for decades through abortion.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded in a Tuesday statement describing Oklahoma’s life-saving law as an “unconstitutional attack on women’s rights.”

Lawmakers had passed SB 612 overwhelmingly in the Oklahoma Senate last year and in the House in April. The new law is the latest in a slew of previous pro-life measures which have been advanced in the state’s GOP-led legislature and signed by the governor, although many of pro-life measures in Oklahoma and other states have been blocked in the courts.

READ: Oklahoma passes ‘Life at Conception’ bill to make abortion a felony if Roe v. Wade is overturned

It’s unclear whether Oklahoma’s newest measure to protect the lives of unborn children will also be stalled in the courts.

The new law comes just in advance of a much-anticipated ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hand down this summer. 

The crucial case on the Supreme Court docket concerns Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks gestation, and could result in overhauling or overturning the “right to abortion” established in the Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, thereby sending the matter of abortion back to the states. 

Many Republican-led states including Texas, Idaho, Florida, and South Dakota, have moved to enact pro-life legislation in anticipation of the Court’s ruling.

More than a dozen states have enacted “trigger laws” to immediately ban the killing of unborn babies if Roe v. Wade is struck down.

READ: South Carolina lawmakers advance bill to ban abortion if Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Forbes reported that according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, “more than 100 laws restricting abortions were enacted in 2021, the most ever in a single year since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.”