Amazing that the party allegedly for less government intrusion in our lives finds no problem spearheading this kind of heinous legislation:
Oklahoma just passed the country's strictest law on pre-abortion ultrasounds, along with another law that basically allows doctors to lie to pregnant women.
According to James McKiley Jr. of the Times, the Oklahoma legislature voted today to overturn vetoes of both laws. The first, a similar form of which was struck down by Oklahoma courts last year, requires "a doctor or technician to set up the monitor where the woman can see it and describe the heart, limbs and organs of the fetus. No exceptions are made for rape and incest victims." This is already invasive — Dionne Scott of the Center for Reproductive Rights calls it "the most extreme ultrasound requirement in the country."
The second law, however, is even more disturbing. Basically, it protects doctors from being sued if they decide not to tell patients that their fetus has birth defects. Writes McKinley, "The intent of the bill is to prevent parents from later suing doctors who withhold information to try to influence them against having an abortion."
Just take a minute to digest that. In Oklahoma, it's now legal to keep health information from patients in order to make their reproductive decisions for them. Of course, the doctors who perform prenatal tests won't be raising the children born to the prospective parents they treat. And yet those doctors can have a say — through subterfuge — in whether those parents choose to give birth or not. Now that this has passed, it's tempting to wonder what information Oklahoma doctors will get to lie about next. Perhaps they could tell teen girls that condoms spread AIDS. Or maybe just convince women that they're not actually pregnant until it's too late for an abortion. The possibilities are endless!
All in the deluded notion that somehow they are saving innocent potential babies, they are forcing actual living, breathing American citizens to submit without choice an invasive procedure before she can exercise her legal right to determine what she wants to do with her body. And no exception for rape or incest. It's victimizing those women all over again.
The Center for Reproductive Rights promises a fight.
“It is extremely disappointing that the Oklahoma legislature insists on passing a law that is so clearly unconstitutional and so detrimental to women in the state,” said Stephanie Toti, staff attorney in the U.S. Legal Program of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The state has already spent the last two years defending this abortion restriction and several others—without success. Another round in the courts won’t change our strong constitutional claims against the law, it will only waste more of Oklahoma taxpayers’ time and money.”
The Center argues that the ultrasound requirement profoundly intrudes upon a patient’s privacy and is the most extreme ultrasound law in the country. The law forces a woman to hear information that she may not want to hear and that may not be relevant to her medical care. It also dangerously discounts her abilities to make healthy decisions about her own life by forcing her to hear information when she's objected. In addition, the statute interferes with the doctor-patient relationship—potentially damaging it—by compelling doctors to deliver unwanted speech.
If you are as outraged by this as I am, you can donate to CRR to help them fight.