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FIRST ON FOX: Republican Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt responded to the White House after President Biden sharply criticized the Sooner State’s new abortion law.
Stitt accused the White House of attacking the bill out of desperation “to distract” from Biden’s “failing administration.”
“From day one, President Biden and his liberal administration have been trying to dictate and mandate behavior and using scare tactics against anyone who disagrees with their socialist agenda,” Stitt said in an exclusive statement to Fox News Digital.
“Oklahomans don’t care what the socialist Democrats in Washington think, and as governor of all 4 million Oklahomans who overwhelmingly support life, I will continue to fight to protect the unborn.”
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks at a bill-signing ceremony April 12, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Stitt said it “speaks volumes that the Biden administration would rather pander to their radical base and target states like Oklahoma instead of releasing the stockpile of baby formula at the border, or helping families who are being crushed by 40-year high inflation and record gas prices, or securing our southern border or dealing with the surge of violent crime across the country.
“President Biden’s approval rating is at the lowest point of his presidency, so they’re desperate to distract from his failing administration.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Stitt’s comments came a day after the White House condemned the new Oklahoma bill as “absurd,” “extreme” and “ultra MAGA,” a new buzz phrase the administration has been pushing recently.
“The president believes that women have the fundamental right to make their own reproductive health choices,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday. She added that the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade “has been the law of the land for almost 50 years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned.
“Today’s action by the Oklahoma legislature is the most extreme effort to undo these fundamental rights we have seen to date,” the press secretary added. “In addition, it adopts Texas’ absurd plan to allow private citizens to sue their neighbors for providing reproductive health care and helping women to exercise their constitutional rights.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signs a bill in Oklahoma City March 30, 2022, that prevents transgender girls and women from competing on female sports teams. (AP Photo/Sean Murphy)
“This is part of a growing effort by ultra MAGA officials across the country to roll back the freedoms we should not take for granted in this country.”
Jean-Pierre claimed that Trump-style Republicans “are starting with reproductive rights, but the American people need to know that other fundamental rights, including the right to contraception and marriage equality, are at risk.”
As Jean-Pierre noted, H.B. 4327 empowers private individuals to bring lawsuits against people who perform or aid in abortions, and damages for violating the law will be set at a minimum of $10,000 per abortion.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks after signing into law a bill making it a felony to perform an abortion, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, April 12, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
The bill, H.B. 4327, would ban all abortions after the moment of conception except in cases of rape, incest or to save the mother’s life. The bill bans any procedures that “cause the death of an unborn child,” which it defines as a “human fetus or embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.”
Stitt has indicated he will sign the bill, which will go into effect immediately.
Planned Parenthood announced it would challenge the legislation in court once Stitt signs it.
Fox News Digital’s Tyler O’Neil contributed reporting.