Oklahoma Legislature Overrides Governor's Veto on Abortion Laws

A nasty scene indeed from the new frontline (the state level) in the war over reproductive choice:
The Oklahoma Legislature voted Tuesday to override the governor's vetoes of two abortion measures, one of which requires women to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting an abortion.

Though other states have passed similar measures requiring women to have ultrasounds, Oklahoma's law goes further, mandating that a doctor or technician set up the monitor so the woman can see it and describe the heart, limbs and organs of the fetus. No exceptions are made for rape and incest victims.

A second measure passed into law on Tuesday prevents women who have had a disabled baby from suing a doctor for withholding information about birth defects while the child was in the womb. Opponents argue that the law will protect doctors who purposely mislead a woman to keep her from choosing an abortion. But the bill's sponsors maintain that it merely prevents lawsuits by people who wish, in hindsight, that the doctor had counseled them to abort a disabled child.

Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat, vetoed both bills last week. The ultrasound law, he said, was flawed because it did not exempt rape and incest victims and would allow an unconstitutional intrusion into a woman’s privacy. Of the other measure, Mr. Henry said, "It is unconscionable to grant a physician legal protection to mislead or misinform pregnant women in an effort to impose his or her personal beliefs on a patient."

The Republican majorities in both houses, however, saw things differently. On Monday, the House voted overwhelmingly to override the vetoes, and the Senate followed suit on Tuesday morning, making the two measures law.
I eagerly await a statement from the President praising this exemplary display of "consensus and common ground." That is, if he can be arsed to tear himself away from being a superhero feminist long enough to make a fucking statement about it at all.

Oh, I know, I'm such a cunt. Don't I know he's PROTECTING ROE???!!!1!eleventy!! Why don't I just vote Republican and see what happens THEN, huh?!


This is what happens when the Democrats cede ground to the anti-choice contingent, when the Democratic leadership turns choice into a negotiable platform plank for its Congressional candidates, when the Democratic president engages in mealy-mouthed rhetoric and admonishes pro-choice advocates to "respect" the views of their adversaries, even though their views don't recognize women's basic right to bodily autonomy and our equality of personhood.

On January 22, 2009, President Obama stated: "I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose." And yet he has failed utterly to lend his considerable weight to protecting women's rights in Oklahoma. (And Arizona.)

Not only is their right to choose being undermined by requirements designed to deter abortion-seekers, requirements that also treat women like ninny-brained infants who need forcible help making decisions about their own bodies, but a doctor's right to lie to his female patients is being coded into law.

And we're not supposed to care about his inaction and silence because he's going to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court who will ostensibly protect an ever more impotent statute meant to ensure women's access to abortion, even as access is being subverted across the country.

The next time someone says some dumbass shit to me like : "Or, don't vote, and get a Republican Congress instead. That'll teach 'em..." I'm going to ask them to tell me with a straight goddamn face what the difference would be. Because abortion isn't a fucking on-off switch. Legal abortion isn't just about Roe, but is about the number of women who have reasonable and affordable and unencumbered access to it.

And the Democrats are letting that number dwindle in this nation as sure as the Republicans would.

[Recent Related Reading: More Fuckery in Arizona, But It's All Okay Because Obama's Protecting Roe, Chip, Chip, Chip; Have I Mentioned...; The Anti-Choice Whittling Strategy; How Could a Feminist Even CONSIDER Not Voting Democratic?!]

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