Warning: we have reached Level Six Handmaid's Tale realization. I repeat: Level Six Handmaid's Tale realization https://t.co/3Gq0eMyL55
— Cari Luna (@cari_luna) February 13, 2017
— Paul Ford (@ftrain) February 13, 2017
[HB 1441, w]ritten by another of the chamber’s freshmen, Rep. Justin Humphrey, the legislation would require a woman seeking an abortion first to obtain written permission from her sexual partner. It would also require her to provide his name to her doctor and would forestall the procedure if the man wanted the opportunity to challenge paternity. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar provision in 1992.
Once upon a time, Republicans actually seemed to believe the definition of classical Conservatism espoused by stalwarts like Russell Kirk, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Edmund Burke. At its simplest, Conservatism is about getting government out of the lives of the governed as much as possible. The idea was that citizens would be more productive and successful if government granted them the right to largely be master of their own existence.
Today, Conservatism has distinctly split into libertarian and authoritarian branches. Libertarian Conservatives believe that when it comes to government less is better. Authoritarians conflate law and morality, believing society must conform to one moral code- theirs. As we’ve seen over the past few years, authoritarians have taken the upper hand…which helps explain what’s happening Oklahoma these days.
“I would say it’s certainly a new low for Oklahoma,” said Amanda Allen, senior state legislative counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, though she is hardly shocked that Oklahoma lawmakers would seek to pass such a regressive bill. “This is, to my mind, a fruitless effort to shame and stigmatize women who are seeking abortion care and it is completely and unequivocally unconstitutional.”
But Oklahoma does have a reputation as being one of a handful of states trying to “push the envelope,” she said. Last session, while staring down the more than $1 billion shortfall lawmakers nonetheless found the time to pass a complete ban on abortion, a bill that was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Mary Fallin — likely more as a practical matter than one rooted in a desire to champion reproductive autonomy.
The Oklahoma Legislature, faced with significant budget problems, nonetheless made it a priority to conduct a full-scale assault on the Constitutionally-guaranteed rights of women. Rated by the Guttmacher Institute as the 2nd-most anti-abortion state, Oklahoma can’t be faulted for not trying hard enough. Last year lawmakers passed a measure that would have banned abortion outright. The version passed was vetoed by Gov. Mary Fallin, but not because she’s pro-choice; she knew Oklahoma would be embarrassed in court. The law would undoubtedly have been found in violation of Roe v. Wade, and Fallin simply wanted to avoid having to explain to Oklahoma taxpayers why their money was wasted on a fruitless and futile battle.
Such bills, said [Karo] Chowning [past-president of the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice], are simply “absurd.” They waste taxpayer resources and take the focus off what lawmakers should be doing — focusing on the budget and passing legislation that actually helps Oklahomans, Chowning and Speidel said. They note that there are good bills pending that the coalition supports — like paid family leave, raising the minimum wage, ensuring sexual assault kits are tested, and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act — that would be immediately beneficial to women and their families.
Instead of doing the job they were elected to do, legislators have continued their efforts to legally define woman as property. The goal appears to be denying women the right to make reproductive decisions without the consent of the man in their life. I can think of nothing that defines women as second-class citizens quite like that.
You can do that when you consider a woman to be “a vessel” who loses their right to independent decision-making when they become sexually active. It’s what Jesus would do, don’tchaknow??
Meanwhile, it appears Oklahoma’s good, God-fearing, Conservative White Christian patriots have exactly the quality of leadership they deserve. Nice work, eh?