New law making it illegal for doctors to perform abortions passes in Senate, goes to Gov. Fallin for signature.
In a direct violation of federal law and the Supreme Court, the Oklahoma state legislature has moved to pass a complete ban of abortions statewide, Tulsa World reports, passing 33-12 in the Senate with no debate and is now being sent to Republican Governor Mary Fallin for signature.
As part of a continued, not-so quiet assault from GOP state legislatures on reproductive rights and women’s health, lawmakers in Oklahoma’s House of Representatives three weeks ago passed SB-1522, a bill deemed by medical professionals and health experts as “the most draconian statewide anti-abortion measure ever.”
Passing comfortably in the House 69-15, the bill would ban abortions statewide by revoking the medical license of any doctor who performs them at their clinic, with zero exceptions for a woman’s health or even in extreme cases of sexual assault.
The minimum punishment for medical professionals still choosing to perform reproductive health services would be one year in a state penitentiary. The only exception to the law would be instances “necessary to save the life of the mother,” and even in that situation it is still specifically noted that the threat of suicide by a woman seeking an abortion fails to fulfill the “life” requirement.
“This is our proper function, to protect life,” said Senator Nathan Dahm the Republican lawmaker who authored the bill adding that he’s “hopeful” the measure could lead to overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that established the legality of abortions nationwide.
“Everybody talks about this $1.3 billion deficit,” colleague and co-sponsor on the bill David Brumbaugh added, “If we take care of morality, God will take care of the economy.”
According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, the bill is the first of its kind in the nation.
A spokesman for Governor Fallin has indicated that she will withhold public comment until her staff has time to review, however the conservative lawmaker has historically supported assaults on reproductive freedoms throughout her career in public service.
“This is a ban on abortion, plain and simple,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, “Punishing doctors for performing a legal, medical procedure is an assault on women. As a health care provider, we have seen the very real and very disastrous impact these bills have on women’s lives. Women are forced to drive hundreds of miles, and across state lines. Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of this extreme agenda, and Oklahomans will not stand for this.”
The Senate’s only physician, Republican Sen. Ervin Yen, called SB1522 “insane.”
Dr. Mark DeFrancesco, the president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), has warned that this legislation will only accomplish putting women in Oklahoma further at risk, leading many to possibly turn towards unsafe, newly-illegal methods of ending their pregnancy.
“Health care decisions should be made jointly by patients and their trusted health care providers,” said DeFrancesco in an official statement following the House’s original passing of SB-1522, “Not by politicians who lack medical training and who clearly do not have women’s best interests in mind.”
What do you get when you combine inflammatory propaganda videos by anti-abortion extremists (which were immediately proved patently false), 23 state legislatures attempting to de-fund women’s health services, and the Republican nomination for president declaring “there has to be some sort punishment” for women attempting an abortion?
Democrats would do well to win some state legislatures back in November.