Oklahoma lawmakers won’t give up on nutty anti-abortion laws…
12:42 PM EST on February 9, 2017
Regardless of your stance on abortion, there's one thing you can't argue – it's been a constitutionally protected right in the U.S. since 1973.
As we know, that really doesn't matter to the right-wing Derplahoman lawmakers in the Oklahoma legislature. Each year, these freedom-loving patriots go out of their way to introduce ridiculous unconstitutional legislation that does nothing but infringe on people's rights, waste taxpayers money, and remind people and businesses why they should never move here.
2017 isn't any different. As usual, several lawmakers have introduced archaic, nanny-state legislation that would limit or interfere with a woman's right to undergo a totally legal medical procedure.
One of the bills is HB 1549. It would ban abortions because of a diagnosis of Down Syndrome or genetic abnormality of an unborn child. The other bill is HB 1441. This dandy would require a father to consent to an abortion, because you know, men should totally be able to tell women what they can or can't do with their own body.
The only thing dumber than the bills themselves is what some of our lawmakers have to say about them. Here's what Justin Humphrey, the author of HB 1441, had to say in an interview with The Oklahoman:
“What we're saying is, if a man is responsible for child support, and they are, what I say is their responsibility begins at conception, not nine months down the road,” Humphrey said. “I understand these groups that feel it should be 100 percent a woman's choice. I would encourage women to make that choice before they get pregnant, but once they enter into a relationship with a person, as she becomes pregnant, then that embryo, egg, fetus, whatever you want to call it, has mutual DNA, and both parties should have a say-so.”
Okay, let's forget for a second that this proposal is unconstitutional. Doesn't the general idea have some holes in it? For example, sometimes it's not clear who the father is during a pregnancy. Also, couldn't a woman get some dude to say he's the father and is fine with the abortion?
News 9's capitol beat reporter Aaron Brilbrek thought the exact same things. He asked the question to State Rep. Mike Ritz, chair of the House Public Health committee.
News 9’s Aaron Brilbeck asked, “What if the woman doesn’t know who the father is, or lies about who the father is to have an abortion?”
"So I guess they would have to address that and that's a good point, we'll just have to wait and see,” said Representative Ritz. "But that's a good point. Good thinking out of the box."
Here's another question that's outside the box. "Does this guy have a brain?"
Seriously. Forget for a second that "thinking outside the box" is one of the worst, most overused cliches in human history. How deep inside the box do you have to be to consider questions like that as "thinking outside the box?"
"I have an idea. What if we pass a law that gives a tax rebate to everyone who wears a seatbelt while driving?"
"Yeah, but wouldn't everyone just claim they were a seatbelt?"
"Way to think outside the box!"
Anyway, I seriously doubt any of these bills actually become law. They're both struggling to make it out of committee, with even pro-life Republicans recognizing they're a waste of time, energy and resources.
Also, I have an "outside the box" idea for Humphrey, Ritz and all the other Derplahomans in our legislature. Instead of wasting time trying to ban abortions, why don't they focus their efforts on preventing unwanted pregnancies? And I'm not talking some snake oil "abstinence only education." I'm talking about actually effective ideas like making birth control accessible and affordable to Oklahomans, and educating our kids and teens about safe sex. You know, pro-life things most Republicans seem to be against.