I mean, don't they have a recession down there? A couple of wars? Widespread unemployment? Massive budget shortfalls?
Ah, but that stuff's not as interesting or gratifying as fucking with women's rights.
By the end of March, 825 measures had been introduced in the 44 legislatures that have convened so far in 2010.
From the Guttmacher Institute here's an index of fascinating topics under the general heading of 'Laws for Ladies':
Abortion Bans to Replace Roe
Crisis Pregnancy Centers: 'Choose Life' License Plates and State Funding
Crisis Pregnancy Centers
Later Term and Second Trimester Abortion
Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods
Medical Emergency Exception in Abortion Law
Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion
Prohibiting Forcing a Woman to Have an Abortion
Protecting Access to Abortion
Protecting Access to Clinics
Public Funding of Abortion
Requiring Abortion Providers to Have Hospital Privileges
Reporting Statistical Information to State Agencies
Sex and Race Selection
State Participation in Abortion
Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers
With so many intrusive, paternalistic, authoritarian, slut-shaming laws to choose from, it's hard to say which is the winner of the coveted Maurice Vellacott Award, but Oklahoma is certainly a top contender.
Oklahoma's new anti-choice laws, one requiring all women to have a mandatory ultrasound before an abortion, and one allowing doctors to lie to their patients if the fetus has an abnormality, are stirring up a lot of anger (not to mention a looming court battle). But the anger isn't just in Oklahoma, but across the country, too.
Anti-abortion lawmakers in Oklahoma stooped to a new low this week by passing two bills that constitute a reprehensible intrusion of government into women's lives.
It's hard to tell which of the bills is the most repugnant.
The first requires doctors to force women to watch an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus within an hour before an abortion is performed. The requirement holds even for women who are victims of incest or rape. It will add gratuitous pain to a procedure that for the vast majority of women is already an anguished choice.
The second bill prevents a wrongful life or wrongful death lawsuit against doctors who withhold information about a pregnancy, even when a fetus has severe disabilities.
In other words, Oklahoma doctors are free to impose their beliefs on women and even to flat-out lie to them. Would a law making the same provision for an exclusively male condition ever get through Oklahoma's or any other legislature? Not a chance.
Lying to a patient would be clearly unethical. Fortunately, it's almost certainly unconstitutional as well. The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit two hours after the Oklahoma House and Senate overrode Gov. Brad Henry's veto of the bill. The suit will argue that the laws invade a patient's right to privacy and fail to respect patient autonomy.
WARNING: Do not read the next paragraph if you are prone to head-explosions.
The justification for the mandatory ultrasound is 'informed consent' -- you know, we wimmin don't really know what we're doing when we make abortion appointments. Yet the wrongful life/death one enables (encourages?) fetus fetishizing doctors or technicians to withhold information on potential fetal deformities or other problems. Because we wimmin can't be trusted with knowing what's growing in our uteruses.
So, how's it working out? Well, the emotional torture part works good, but the preventing abortion part? Not so well.
Women became emotional and some cried after being shown fetal ultrasound images at a Tulsa abortion clinic Wednesday, a day after Oklahoma enacted what has been called the nation’s most restrictive abortion law.
None of the women, however, decided against terminating their pregnancies, said Linda Meek, the executive director of Reproductive Services in Tulsa.
Now go read Rape Me All Over Again at Those Emergency Blues, which is where I got this photo. And yup, it works just like it looks like it would. (I've had one of these dealies and 'horribly invasive' doesn't begin to describe it.)