Unconstitutional Abortion Bill in Oklahoma Vetoed!

Follow-Up to: Unconstitutional Abortion Bill in Oklahoma Criminalizes Abortion Providers

Governor Mary Fallin vetoed the unconstitutional bill that would make  providing abortion services a felony in the state of Oklahoma two days ago.

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According to The Washington Post, Fallin stated, “The bill is so ambiguous and so vague that doctors cannot be certain what medical circumstances would be considered ‘necessary to preserve the life of the mother.”

This is a victory at first sight.

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The fight for abortion access and services as well as reproductive justice is not over. We still need to agitate, educate, and organize.

Although Fallin vetoed this SR 1552, her track record for voting in favor of anti-abortion policies still stand and it’s important. Mentioned in the previous article, she has voted for at least 18 bills that aim to chip away at our choice to decide what’s best for our bodies, ourselves, and our families.

She, also, is not giving up the fight to push anti-abortion legislation. Roe v Wade is on that agenda and she calls for the re-examination of the Supreme Court case.

According to The Washington Post she stated that SR 1552 wasn’t the best way to push this agenda, “In fact, the most direct path to a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade is the appointment of a conservative, pro-life justice to the United States Supreme Court,” she stated.

(Ahh, let’s hope not. If you have the access to vote, do it.)

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At the end of the day, Oklahoma is still in critical condition in the context of access and services. They only have 2 open clinics in the entire state. This is devastating.

We, women of all hues and strokes, are not incubators.

This is our body. We will have sanction.

There a so many reasons why folks seek abortion services. If you dont like abortions, which is federally legal, then are you advocating for the following:

  • Inclusive & Accurate Sexual Education
  • Contraception Methods
  • Preventive Care
  • Accessible and Affordable Healthcare

And I don’t know……trust women to make decisions about their own bodies.

If you aren’t advocating for these, then, please, educate yourself on our sexual education system, condoms, birth control, the abstinence only sexual education (which is used in 37 states), healthcare services that affordable and accessible. Making abortions illegal will not stop abortions. 

Fallin may have shocked us this time. But be careful. History and records are telling. Watch out for these politicians and the bills they put forth.

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It ain’t over.

And we need to be ready, educated, and organized.

#reproductivejustice #OklahomaAbortionBill #abortionrights #abortionaccess #agitateeducateorganize #trustwomen #healthcare

References:
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/04/10/461402/teen-pregnancy-sex-education/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/05/20/oklahoma-governor-vetoes-bill-that-would-make-it-a-felony-to-perform-abortions/
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/victory-mindset-joycelyn-a-james
http://www.charismanews.com/us/55948-study-proves-texas-laws-are-creating-obstacles-to-abortion
http://www.iww.org/node/5227
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Unconstitutional Abortion Bill in Oklahoma Criminalizes Abortion Providers

In four days or less providing abortion services could be a felony in the state of Oklahoma.
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Yep, you read that correctly. Oklahoma is missing only one signature to pass this bill into law, Oklahoma Governor, Mary Fallin’s. With her signature, this bill would criminalize abortion providers with a three year prison sentence and loss of their medical license as well as many other restrictions placed on abortion clinics. (Currently, the entire state of Oklahoma has only 2 open abortion clinics.)  

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Mary Fallin, has repeatedly signed anti-abortion legislation into law. This modern day Phyllis Shafetly has a horrendous track record when it comes to voting for reproductive rights. In the past 9 years she has voted for 7 pieces of anti-abortion legislation. This could very well be her 8th. According to Huffington Post, “the CRR noted in an email sent to reporters that Fallin has signed 18 bills restricting reproductive health care access since she took office in 2011.”

The bill has already passed in the House on April 21st and the Senate yesterday. It is to be effective, if signed, on November 1st of this year.  

Right now, Bill No. 1552 is sitting on her desk, awaiting a ratification (or denial, high unlikely, but one can hope) that will impact Oklahomans tremendously, possibly setting a national precedent. And we should be worried.

I encourage you to read Bill 1552, eye rolling is okay. Restrictions and contradictions are coming!

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Here are some important pieces of the legislation for those who just want the soundbites:

Bill No. 1552: The Criminalization of Abortion Providers

  1. Any physician participating in the performance of an abortion shall be prohibited from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in this state.  The State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision shall revoke the license of an allopathic physician performing an abortion in this state.  The State Board of Osteopathic Examiners shall revoke the license of an osteopathic physician performing an abortion in this state. For the purposes of this section, “abortion” shall have the same meaning provided by Section 1-730 of this title, except that an abortion necessary to preserve the life of the mother shall not be grounds for denial or revocation of a medical license.  No such condition may be determined to exist if it is based on a claim or diagnosis that the woman may engage in conduct which she intends to result in her death.

Bill No. 1552: The Only Exception

Section 1

  1. Performance of an abortion as defined by Section 1-730 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, except that an abortion necessary to preserve the life of the  mother shall not be grounds for denial or revocation of a medical license. No such condition may be determined to exist if it is based on a claim or diagnosis that the woman may engage in conduct which she intends to result in her death

This bill DOES NOT  include rape or incest as exceptions.

Bill No. 1552: The Grey Area

Section 3

  1.  The Board may enact rules and regulations pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act setting out additional acts of unprofessional conduct; which acts shall be grounds for refusal to issue or reinstate, or for action to condition, suspend or revoke a License.

So, we are just going to pass this bill and if we don’t like something else, we’ll add that too. -Oklahoma House and Senate Logic

In an interview with MSNBC, presidential candidate Donald Trump states that women should be punished for having an abortion. Although he did not have specific answers to what the punishment should be, the fact is, he believes that women making decision about their bodies and families should be punishable if they decide to obtain one. (Choose your candidate wisely.)

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Perhaps this is next on the agenda of the anti-abortion movement.

Oh, wait. That is already happening.

In what way you ask? Well, here is a list (some of which is in Bill 1552).

  • 24-74 hour waiting period
  • Mandatory viewing of sonograms and pictures of the fetus
  • Two day procedures
  • Specific facility requirements (most, if not all, are ridiculous and unnecessary)
  • Incorrect Information (Absolutely legal and enforced)
  • Lack of accessible clinics
  • Lack of accessible contraceptives and preventive care (cough cough defunding Planned Parenthood)
  • Criminalizing patients and abortion providers
  • Attacks on abortion clinics
  • Treating people as wombs
  • Forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy[
  • Not trusting women’s decisions
  • Women facing/ed imprisonment, murder charges, being arrested

 

Oh and the list could go on and on and on.

 

Bill 1552 is unconstitutional. It is inhumane. It is repulsive. And we can not be silent. Lives, families, destruction of patriarchy are on the line here.

In 1973 the enactment of “the historic Supreme Court decision overturning a Texas interpretation of abortion law and making abortion legal in the United States. The Roe v. Wade decision held that a woman, with her doctor, could choose abortion in earlier months of pregnancy without legal restriction, and with restrictions in later months, based on the right to privacy.” Thus, Bill 1552, directly violates this Supreme Court decision, which is unconstitutional.

This is not the only case that federally made abortions legal and accessible. The 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey case “reaffirmed” the Roe v Wade court case, stating that they the state should not place any “undue burdens” on patients trying to obtain an abortion. Well, they have. And this definitely counts as a measure of placing undue burdens on providers and patients.

Abortion is federally legal. States, for centuries, have subtly and blatant chipped away at reproductive health access and choice. 

In response to the backlash of this bill, that will undoubtedly occur (folks are already organizing) the authors of this bill state, “In the event that any provision of this act is challenged in court in any action alleging a violation of either the Constitution of the United States of America or the State of Oklahoma, the Office of the Attorney General shall determine the amount of state or local funds expended to defend such action.”

Although the bill is unlikely to pass because of the unconstitutional ridiculousness it is important to understand the impact of this bill as a precedent. According to Guttmacher Institute, “during the 2014 state legislative session, lawmakers introduced 335 provisions aimed at restricting access to abortion. By the end of the year, 15 states had enacted 26 new abortion restrictions. Including these new provisions, states have adopted 231 new abortion restrictions since the 2010 midterm elections swept abortion opponents into power in state capitals across the country.” There is war on bodily autonomy. The movement towards reproductive justice  is threatened by the restrictions the state imposes women, LGBQT folks, and families. With Oklahoma’s 2 open abortion clinics within the entire state, abortion access and services, are becoming nearly impossible to provide.

We will not stand for this.  We should be able to make decisions about our bodies and lives with interference from the state. 

Advocate for reproductive justice! Stand with women and the LGBQT community. Our bodies. Our lives. Our decision. 

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References:
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/05/19/478743035/oklahoma-lawmakers-pass-bill-that-makes-performing-an-abortion-a-felony
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/20/us/oklahoma-bill-abortion-doctors.html?_r=0
http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/18/health/abortion-fast-facts/index.html
http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/1699/mary-fallin/2/abortion#.Vz6q1WQrK-U
http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/SB/SB1552%20ENR.PDF
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Fallin
http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a56072/pro-life-movement-trump-punish-women-abortion/
http://www.wtsp.com/news/politics/oklahoma-passes-bill-effectively-banning-abortion/204677918
https://www.flickr.com/photos/32083003@N06/5118165396
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/03/30/trump_some_form_of_punishment_for_women_if_abortion_becomes_illegal.html
http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com/2013/07/lhhatl-season-2-finale.html/joselineeyeroll
http://womenshistory.about.com/od/abortionuslegal/p/roe_v_wade.htm
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2016/03/30/3765073/women-punished-abortion/
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/11/03/3587953/oklahoma-abortion-laws-effect/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oklahomaabortion_us_573df1b9e4b0aee7b8e94b41?utm_hp_ref=politics
https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2015/01/just-last-four-years-states-have-enacted-231-abortion-restrictions