War on women hits speed bump in Oklahoma

If you cut off my reproductive choice ...

(Updated March 29 at 2:49 pm MT)

Uh oh. Sanity is rearing its head in the nationwide war on women. A district judge has ruled that Oklahoma’s law requiring women to get an ultrasound before having an abortion is “unconstitutional and unenforceable.”

Enforcement of the law has been blocked since May 2010 when a Tulsa health care provider challenged its constitutionality. It required that a woman have an ultrasound and then have the image placed in front of her as she hears it described in detail. (Just how would you enforce a law like that, anyway? Have a cop accompany each woman into the doctor’s examination room?)

The author of the ultrasound statute, Rep. Lisa Billy (R) was disappointed and said, “I think women deserve to have all the information necessary before making that decision.”

Fear not, Rep. Billy. Any and all information women seek regarding abortion will be provided by their doctors. It always has been. Doctors have an ethical obligation to provide it. Neither the women nor their doctors needed your intrusion into their personal, private conversations.

Billy is also a sponsor of the Personhood Act currently making its way through the Oklahoma legislature.



Categories: abortion, Election 2012, Health, Law, war on women

17 replies

  1. Quick, somebody call National Geographic. Rare birds like this should be thoroughly documented before the go extinct! 😀

  2. Yeah, I read this earlier this morning. I have two words to say, “WOOO-HOOOOO!!!!!!!!”

  3. Another huge difference between the country you live in and the one I was born in… Canada’s Supreme Court struck down our abortion law in 1988 — which was a good thing considering it made the ‘Personhood Act’ look progressive — and there hasn’t been one since.

    “Forcing a woman, by threat of criminal sanction, to carry a fetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations… the [current] law asserts that the woman’s capacity to reproduce is to be subject, not to her own control, but to that of the state.”

    So, currently, and probably forever, there are no laws (none) in Canada, federal or provincial, restricting abortion in any way. There are some limits on availability based on provincial hospital funding issues, but that’s it. Private abortion clinics set their own standards, and decide how far along is too far along to perform an abortion.

    Back in the mid-90’s there was a case of a woman who, two weeks before the due date, used a pellet gun to shoot her fetus in the head. She was charged with attempted murder (baby was delivered via c-section, healthy, but with the pellet in his head), but the judge’s decision was that she was acting as her own abortionist, and therefore there was no crime. She was sent to a psych ward for a few weeks of observation based on some depression issues.

    So, basically, every pregnant woman in Canada can act as their own abortionist, at whatever stage of the pregnancy they want… and maybe after the birth, the judgement wasn’t clear on that. Which means that, until we’re at least 18-years old, we don’t piss off mom.

    If you’re interested, this explains why we have no abortion laws:
    http://culturalsnafu.wordpress.com/2007/04/06/retroactive/

    [It’s is my ‘other me’ blog.]

    • Good grief, that law sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel! But now you’ve done it. You’ve gone and posted it where some of our loons can see it and run with it!

      I suspect that women who shot her fetus would have been slapped with a murder charge here unless she was shown to have a mental problem. It seems self-evident to me, but nobody ever asks me about these things …

      Oops, that was the court ruling, not the law. Whew!

      • “…that law sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel!”

        “…that was the court ruling, not the law.”

        It’s a little like a prequel to Logan’s Run up here. Everybody makes this mistake, including most Canadians: there is NO abortion law in Canada.

        It really is hard for people to get their heads around this.

        Anyone over the age of 12 (with no parental consent) can have an abortion straight up to the day before the baby is due. They just have to find a clinic willing to perform one that late (which I highly doubt is possible), or do it themselves (which, other than that one example, I’ve never heard of).

        The provinces can set “guidelines”, but only on the accesibility of abortion clinics… Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island, for example, have no clinics, and only a few hospitals with the funding to perform them.

        Hospitals in New Brunswick won’t tell women the sex of their fetus, because they’re afraid some women would use sex as an excuse to abort their fetus… the hospital where my son was born has a similar policy, but it’s not enforced with all mothers. There are also limitations on “3D” imaging, but those are limits put on by the hospitals themselves.

        So… there are no restrictions on abortions in Canada, because there are no laws regarding abortion in Canada. Just a few years ago the Conservative Party of Canada actually had to promise not to introduce any law restricting abortion in order to convince moderates to vote for them.

        The link I left is to a piece I wrote on my other blog, it explains the “why” factor (the Supreme Court ruling and why we can’t have an abortion law). The discussion in the comment section was really interesting — and totally civil.

        • I read your article. That’s when I realized I’d misinterpreted your post. I’ll go back and read the comments. I’d never really thought about the effect(s) of NO abortion law. U.S. abortion law was up to the states until the Supreme Court’s Roe V. Wade decision which became the law of the land. But the states keep trying to do end runs with legislation like Oklahoma’s Personhood Act (see my posts). Moderates and liberals, of course, do not want to return to the 1950s and earlier. I claim zero objectivity on the subject. My dad was an OB/GYN, I worked for doctors for 15 years, and my generation started the women’s lib movement. It’s hard for me to even discuss the issue without my blood pressure shooting up.

        • You’re right, the comment section was interesting. I was struck by your remark about needing an abortion law to protect women. That’s the same argument the ultraconservatives are using here to defend a lot of their new and proposed ultrasound laws. They’re all about “making sure women have all the information they need,” etc., when in fact all they really want to do is throw up barriers and obstacles to abortion. It’s a slippery slope, even when the intentions, like yours, are good; I can see why your government just doesn’t want to go there.

        • Not the same thing… the anti-choice radicals in your country are trying to make it as difficult as possible — including shooting doctors who perform abortions — for women to receive an abortion. Having a law regulating abortion, so that a practitioner cannot use certain unsafe methods of abortion — like shoving a pellet gun inside a woman and pulling the trigger, which is currently legal in Canada, makes sense as a way of protecting the woman.

          At the moment, the only restrictions are set by private clinics. If the doctor is sane, there’s no pellet gun. If the doctor is nuts, there might be a pellet gun involved and there’s nada anyone can do about it except not have the abortion in that clinic.

          This is a list of (some) private abortion clinics in Toronto, all of them are sane (no pellet guns), but none of them are the same:
          http://www.hasslefreeclinic.org/Abortions.php#AbortionClinics

          I should add that late-term abortions are rare in Canada.

          “Currently [Quebec] sends women who seek to have third-term abortions performed to the United States. Quebec is currently actively looking to hire a doctor to do third-term abortions, but has not been successful as of October 2004.” Wiki: ‘Abortion in Canada’

        • Yes, I understood the difference. Women do need protection from bad doctors, etc. I think it’s despicable the way our extremists try to defend their proposals by feigning conern for the women when everyone knows they’re trying to block abortions. (“Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”) I’m hoping most of this craziness is driven by election-year politics and will fade after November. Unfortunately, by then, a lot of their craziness will have become law.

        • …laws can be undone. Eventually. It has been interesting, clinically, to watch the United States adopt a three party system over the past few years. Here the third party is (way) further left, so it keeps the centre and centre-right from moving too far off into never-neverland. With the US, the third party (the Tea Party) is so far off into never-neverland, it’s actually dragging the centre-left Democrats into the centre-right territory, and the centre-right Republicans into a weird, weird place. Neither party will ever have power, in the sense that a Tea Party-er will never be President, and a New Democrat will never be Prime Minister, but they do have an incredible amount of influence on the system.

          Without the influence of the Tea Party on the Republicans, these new legislative attempts at messing with access to abortion would not, IMO, be happening.

          On a lighter note:

        • One of my favorite songs from an artist I haven’t heard for quite awhile. A very nice gift from Canda. Thank you (and KD).

  4. Hi… I’m having problems with commenting again, so there should be two nearly identical responses in your spam filter. The one with this avatar (waving devil) would be the right one… sorry about this.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ~ Edmund Burke

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