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Oklahoma Completely Bans Abortion Again, Might Get Away With It This Time
Now with 10 years in the slammer for doctors.
The Oklahoma legislature has passed yet another bill almost completely banning abortion, in hopes this will be the year the Supreme Court finally overturns Roe v. Wade , allowing states to seize control of the means of reproduction. (Why do you think it's called a Red state?)
As the New York Times explains (free linky!),
The measure, Senate Bill 612 , would make performing an abortion “except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency” a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $100,000.
The Oklahoma House voted 70 to 14 to send the bill, which passed the Senate last year, to Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican whose office responded by noting that Mr. Stitt vowed in September to sign “ every piece of pro-life legislation ” that came to his desk.
If Stitt signs the bill — and that sure sounds like he intends to sign every abortion ban, no matter how insane — it'll go into effect on August 26, by which time the Supremes will have decided the Mississippi case that may completely overturn Roe , or may simply gut it and encourage even more extreme bills, like the one from Oklahoma. Once that happens, Oklahoma will no longer provide any refuge to women leaving Texas to escape that state's own terrible six-week "bounty hunter" ban on abortion that passed last fall.
The Republican sponsor of the Oklahoma bill, state Rep. Jim Olson, said he'd introduced it in hopes the Supreme Court would overturn Roe and usher in the Republic of Gilead.
“Obviously, I’m thrilled because we have the potential of seeing many lives of babies saved — part of that depends on future court rulings” like the one in the Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mr. Olsen said.
He said the bill passed without any floor debate.
“Nobody debated and nobody asked any questions,” he said. “I was actually kind of shocked.”
As for the people who would have to carry unwanted pregnancies to term — even in cases of rape or incest, or in cases where a pregnancy might cause permanent but non-life-threatening injury, or in which a fetus is nonviable, we'll assume Olson was also "thrilled" that they might come to know Jesus and repent for the sin of failing to see their pregnancy as a precious gift from God. These ghouls tend to be thrilled primarily by telling women what they can do with their bodies.
Another forced birth advocate, Mallory Carroll, a spokesperson for the antiabortion group "Susan B. Anthony List," praised Oklahoma as being one of the "most pro-life states in the country,” and insisted this is all part of a great movement to
keep women in their place"do lifey things unto America:
“This latest bill passage is yet another sign of the continued pro-life momentum we’re seeing nationwide as lawmakers and pro-life Americans await a decision from the Supreme Court in the Dobbs case,” Ms. Carroll said.
We'd note that Oklahoma has a long track record of trying to completely ban abortion. Back in 2016, the state Lege passed a bill that made performing the still-legal procedure a felony, punishable by revocation of a doctor's medical license. We can only assume that six years later, merely revoking a medical license was far too lax on doctors; hence the prison term and fine. Surprisingly, then-GOP Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed the bill merely because it was "unconstitutional." Imagine that!
In 2018, another Oklahoma bill sought to define abortion as a felony homicide, punishable by life in prison. Shouldn't be long before Oklahoma finally goes full Handmaid's Tale with public executions for everyone involved in providing abortions.
Following yesterday's passage of SB 612, Emily Wales, the interim president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said her organization would challenge the bill in court, noting that
"This ban is more in line with the traditional bans that have been blocked in the past. So we are fairly confident that, as long as Roe remains the law of the land, there is a path to blocking this."
Wales added that the bill was just one of several abortion bans getting traction in the state Lege, including a bill that would, like Texas's SB 8, rely on lawsuits by private citizens to enforce it, in an attempt to avoid judicial review. Idaho recently passed a similar bill, which GOP Gov. Brad Little signed into law despite his own concerns that it was "unwise" and "unconstitutional." But Little is facing a primary challenge from the Right, so better an unconstitutional abortion ban than no abortion ban at all.
At this rate, we assume it's only a matter of time until some other Republican-led state grants full citizenship rights to zygotes and elects one as governor, the end.
[ NYT (no paywall)]
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