Performing An Abortion In Oklahoma City Could Land Doctors In Prison, So That’s Nice
Regardless of where you stand on the pro-choice vs. pro-life spectrum, every woman living in the 21st century strives for maximum bodily autonomy and the right to do with her body as she chooses. But in today’s horrific news, lawmakers are back at it again with a bill that has just regressed America back 100 years. In Oklahoma City, doctors who perform abortions could be charged with a felony and up to three years in prison, thanks to legislation passed today.
Under the law, physicians would also be prohibited from renewing their license or having a new one issued after performing an abortion (which has finally gained traction as a more viable option than carrying a baby to term for women who either don’t want a baby or are unfit to care for one). In a glimmer of hopeful news to latch onto (because everything about this is the absolute worst), medical licenses will remain valid for practitioners performing abortions to save the mother’s life. Gee, thanks for that little nugget.
While the Senate voted 33-12 with no discussion, there is hope the bill will be overturned. The only physician in the Senate, Republican Senator Ervin Yen, voted against it, calling the ruling “insane”.
But in keeping with recent efforts to support women’s reproductive rights through widespread access to Planned Parenthood, it’s not looking good. As of 2011, there were no abortion clinics in 93% of Texas counties, and those areas were home to 35% of Texas’ female population. Texas legislature requires you to visit the Planned Parenthood center twice before undergoing the procedure, complete with psychological counseling and an ultrasound 24 hours prior — one of the many ways Uncle Sam discourages women from holding their beliefs with conviction.
Amanda Allen, an attorney for The Center for Reproductive Rights said in a statement that “Oklahoma politicians have made it their mission year after year to restrict women’s access vital health care services, yet this total ban on abortion is a new low.” Republican Governor Mary Fallin now has five days to decide whether she wants to sign the bill, so while its status exists in a sort of legal grey zone, the measure is widely touted as being both unconstitutional and unprecedented. Other states have banned abortion, but never have there been criminal ramifications associated with performing one.
Republican Senator Nathan Dahm, however, hopes the bill could have the power to overturn 1973’s landmark Supreme Court bill Roe v. Wade legalizing nationwide abortion. The quack in question doesn’t have the most admirable track record, with the classic pro-life stance you’d expect: “The life of the unborn is precious,” he says. And to that I say: “Cool story, bro.”
As if it weren’t horrific enough that women across the nation struggle to find safe and legal access to abortion, doctors, often regarded the gatekeepers of our health are now being punished for “conspiring.” I can’t wait until the Orange Is The New Black episode where all these abortion-performing physicians arrive at Litchfield Penitentiary and all of a sudden things get even more overwhelmingly feminist than they already are.