Oklahoma Governor OKs Extreme Anti-Abortion Bill

Surprise! Oklahoma is being terrible again! Governor Mary Fallin (R) just signed a fancy new bill into law that will triple the amount of time a woman has to wait in order to obtain an abortion. Now, instead of having to wait 24 hours (and receive “counseling”), women now have to wait three days to get one.

This is pretty inconvenient for the vast majority of Oklahoma women, given that there are only three abortion clinics in the whole damn state. Those women will have to take a week off of work in order to travel to one, stay for three days and then obtain an abortion. That is not necessarily a thing that is particularly easy for any woman, nevermind low-income women, to pull off. Few people have the luxury of taking that much time off of work.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I myself was thinking “Hey, it seems like this is just a tactic to make it almost impossible for women to obtain safe and legal abortions!”, but still kind of wondering what they claim it is supposed to be about. Because they never just come right out and say that, do they. So I went to LifeSite News–which, unless you need your blood pressure increased, I do not recommend–to find out what they were saying about this bill.

Their article about this included a statement from the President of “Oklahomans for Life,” Tony Lauinger (A MAN, duh), regarding the recent legislation

He told LifeNews, “HB 1409 improves our current abortion-informed-consent law by providing a 72-hour waiting period before an abortion, requiring that abortion facilities, on their websites, link to the state’s Woman’s Right to Know website, and providing that mothers considering abortion be informed that “abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

“The purpose of the bill is to provide a better opportunity for adequate reflection — following receipt of informed-consent information about risks, alternatives, and the development of the unborn child — before undertaking the irrevocable step of going through with an abortion,” Lauinger added.

That is some hot garbage, but let’s pretend for a moment that this is actually what they are going for here. Do they actually think that women don’t know what an abortion is? Do they think we are stupid? Do they actually think that there is a woman in this country who has not already given significant thought as to what she would do if she had an unwanted pregnancy?

Do they think women looking to get an abortion are hysterical or not thinking clearly? Do they think they need time to calm down? If they think they’re so “crazy” for wanting to control their own reproductive choices, maybe they should just put them on a 72 hour psychiatric hold instead?

For what it’s worth, I would like to point out right now that there is no legal requirement in Oklahoma for men to wait for three days before getting vasectomies. I guess because they assume that men are perfectly capable of making educated reproductive choices for themselves.

These restrictions place an extreme burden on women seeking reproductive health care, and it’s both sickening and offensive. Unfortunately, waiting periods are required in several other states as well, including a 72-hour delay bill in North Carolina, 48-hour delay bills in Arkansas and Tennessee, and a 24-hour delay bill in Florida.

These bills are, naturally, opposed by actual doctors and medical organizations, such as The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as they often require women to have abortions later then they would like, due to having to arrange travel and raise money to have one. Although abortions are safe procedures, the earlier they are provided, the safer they are.

The thing is, all abortion restrictions like this one place an undue burden on all women, low-income women especially. It is our legal right to have access to a safe and legal abortion–not to mention our right to have this be a private decision between ourselves and our doctors. If you don’t like abortions, don’t have one. Otherwise, leave women alone to make their choices for themselves.