The Republican leader has signed a law that makes Oklahoma one step closer to becoming "the most pro-life state in the country."

On Tuesday, Oklahoma's Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law Senate Bill 612, which prohibits nearly all abortions in the state except when a mother is experiencing a medical emergency. Violators of the newly passed abortion ban will face up to 10 years in prison and will be fined up to $100,000.

Gov. Stitt said he wishes to make Oklahoma "the most pro-life state in the country," the Christian Post reported. Under SB 612, women who seek or obtain an illegal abortion will not be persecuted, as the newly passed abortion ban does not "authorize the charging or conviction of a woman with any criminal offense in the death of her unborn child." It also does not prohibit the use or sale of prescription contraceptives as long as these items are purchased before pregnancy.

The Oklahoma abortion ban passed the state's House of Representatives after a 70 to 14 vote last week, more than a year after it passed the Oklahoma Senate in a 38 to 49 vote. Both times, one Republican joined Democrats in opposing the bill.

On Tuesday, Gov. Stitt was surrounded by pro-life activists, religious leaders and the bill's sponsors in the state Legislature as he signed the measure into law. His supporters were wearing red roses during the signing in honor of the Pro-Life Rose Day at the Capitol, an even sponsored by the pro-life group Oklahomans for Life, the Baptist General Convention, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, and other churches and pregnancy resource centers.

"As governor, I represent all 4 million Oklahomans," the Republican leader said after signing the abortion ban. "They overwhelmingly support protecting life in the state of Oklahoma. We want Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country. We want to outlaw abortion in the state of Oklahoma."

Gov. Sttt reiterated his belief that "every life is precious" and underscored how "the most important thing is to take a stand for the unborn and protect life." The Republican leader also acknowledged that the abortion ban will be "challenged immediately by liberal activists" who "dictate and mandate and challenge our way of life."

Once the Oklahoma abortion ban takes affect, it will increase the number of states where there is little to no access to abortions. Oklahoma has become a secondary refuge for women in Texas who seek abortions following the Lone Star State's restrictive abortion ban took effect on September 1 last year. According to Reuters, Oklahoma's Planned Parenthood saw a nearly 2,500% increase in Texas patients after the Texas law took effect, compared to the same period in 2020.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki denounced Oklahoma's abortion ban and urged Congress to pass legislation that would codify abortion rights nationally. Psaki said in a statement, "The actions today in Oklahoma are a part of disturbing national trend attacking women's rights and the Biden Administration will continue to stand with women in Oklahoma and across the country in the fight to defend their freedom to make their own choices about their futures."