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Oklahoma Hopes To Be Worst State In Country To Have A Uterus
Oklahoma is not OK.
Now that the word is out that we're just a few short weeks from the Supreme Court officially overturning Roe v. Wade, state legislatures across the country are competing to see which one will have the honor of being the state least hospitable to anyone with a uterus. So far, Louisiana is pretty far ahead, what with their plan to throw abortion patients in prison for homicide and all, but Oklahoma is quickly gaining on them. The state legislature there just passed a bill being described as the most restrictive forced birth law in the nation.
The bill, HB 4327 , modeled after Texas's Nosy Neighbor Bill, would allow anyone to sue anyone else who "aids and abets" another person in getting an abortion ... starting at conception. The only exceptions will be for rape and incest, if the victim files a report with the police, and life of the mother.
It was introduced in the legislature by Rep. Wendi Stearman, R-Collinsville, who says she was inspired by the way so many more people were forced to give birth against their will in the state of Texas after implementing their horrific bill. Clearly, she was just overjoyed even thinking about the lives ruined emotionally, physically, and financially by the law, how very happy that must make Jesus, and wanted to get some of that for her own state. It passed, 73-16, with two Republicans breaking away and voting against it.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt is expected to sign the bill into law, having just signed another bill into law that would classify it as a felony to perform an abortion in the state after six weeks, punishable by 10 years in prison or fines up to $100,000.
The bill defines an unborn child as “a human fetus or embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.” Anti-abortion groups, believing abortion to be murder, have tried unsuccessfully since the 1973 Roe decision to pass federal or state legislation defining life as beginning at fertilization.
The vote on Thursday was the latest step by Oklahoma’s Republican-led Legislature, working alongside Mr. Stitt, to chip away at abortion rights until the procedure is all but outlawed entirely. Together, they have put their state at the head of the pack of Republican-led states rushing to pass laws that restrict or prohibit abortion in anticipation that the Supreme Court is soon likely to overturn Roe. A leaked draft opinion written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. — along with oral arguments in the case at hand, regarding a Mississippi law that bans the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy — indicated that the court was prepared to do so.
The average price of hospital births in Oklahoma is $12,662. The state ranks 42nd in the country for child well-being . One in 10 children in Oklahoma does not have health care. One in five children lives below the poverty line. Fifty-seven percent of children ages 3 and 4 are not in preschool.
The state's own website declares that Oklahoma's maternal mortality rate is one of the highest in the nation — though given legislators like Rep. Wendi Stearman, it is entirely possible that this is meant as a brag.
According to the CDC, Oklahoma persistently ranks among the states with the worst rates (40th) of maternal deaths in the U.S. Between 2017-2019, the Oklahoma maternal mortality rate was 23.5 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. This is above the national average of 20.1 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births and above the Healthy People 2030 target goal of 15.7.
For comparison, the maternal mortality rate in the European Union is 8 deaths per live births.
Even if none of these things were the case, it would still be horrific to force anyone to give birth against their will — but the fact that they are true makes this all seem especially sinister.
In lieu of setting everything on fire, you can donate to the Brigid Alliance, which collects money to help those who live in states where they cannot access abortion travel to states where they can.
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