Oklahoma makes national news, again.
5:55 AM EDT on May 20, 2022
Well, I guess Oklahoma's status as an abortion tourism hub was fun while it lasted.
Yesterday afternoon, our stodgy, sanctimonious, anti-tourism lawmakers sent a bill to Governor Kevin Stitt – a 49-year-old grown man who equates a clump of cells nesting in a woman's body to a human baby – that takes the already extreme Texas anti-abortion law to new extreme levels by banning the abortion of any “human fetus or embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.”
Just like all the other (at-the-time unconstitutional) anti-abortion bills our lawmakers have passed over the decades, the legislation has generated a lot of negative – or if you're a wacko conservative – positive attention for the state on the national stage.
Here are details via a front-page article in the NY Times:
The Oklahoma Legislature gave final approval on Thursday to a bill that prohibits nearly all abortions starting at fertilization, which would make it the nation’s strictest abortion law.
The bill allows private individuals to sue abortion providers and anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion. It would take effect immediately if signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican who has pledged to make Oklahoma the most anti-abortion state in the nation.
“There can be nothing higher or more critical than the defense of innocent, unborn life,” State Representative Jim Olsen, a Republican, said on Thursday on the floor of the Oklahoma House, where the bill passed on a 73-16 vote.
Obviously, anyone who lives in Oklahoma or follows political news shouldn't be surprised by this.
On May 3rd, the night Politico leaked the big Supreme Court draft opinion that hinted Roe vs. Wade may be overturned, I think we could all hear – over the groans, shrieks, and screams of women – just about every dopey conservative white male politician in the state collectively bust a nut with joy and excitement, knowing that after five decades of insistent, hypocritical pandering, they were finally on the doorstep in their quest to reign supreme over other peoples' bodies.
Here are more details about the bill.
The [Oklahoma] measure is modeled on a law that took effect in Texas in September, which banned abortion after about six weeks and has relied on civilian instead of criminal enforcement to work around court challenges. Because of that provision — the law explicitly says state authorities cannot bring charges — the U.S. Supreme Court and state courts have said they cannot block the ban, even if it goes against the constitutional right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade.
The Oklahoma ban goes further than the Texas law, which bans abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy...
The bill makes exceptions for cases of rape and incest, but only if those crimes have been reported to law enforcement.
Whew. That's all we need. More reasons for conservative white Evangelicals to second-guess women who claim they were sexually assaulted! They are the ones who think the human body has magical mechanisms to prevent legitimate rape, right?
If he hasn't already, expect Kevin Stitt – while flanked by family, lawmakers and probably a Bible – to sign the bill any day now with the blood of a virgin at a huge ceremony at the Capitol. I'm sure that will be followed by an Oklahoma GOP pro-life victory party at the Red Neck Yacht Club.
Although you can't blame Oklahoma Republicans for being a bit excited by their assumed right-wing accomplishment, you do have to wonder if they're being a bit premature in their celebrations
As a guy who lives in the year 2022, an era where up is down, left is right, and Big Brother's "Expect the Unexpected" has become a national motto, I'm still not 100% convinced the court is going to overturn Roe vs Wade. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if the court leaked the opinion just to see how various red-state legislatures and governors would handle the situation. Now that some of the justices are seeing states like Oklahoma go balls to the wall to prohibit virtually all abortions, maybe they'll change course?
Well, probably not, but it's a fun theory to think about.
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