Get ready to vom. Recall this post about the Oklahoma legislature bill allowing abortion-seeking women the freedom of eye movement? I jested that this bill was a human rights victory, but in reality it was a list of provisions to interfere with women’s ability to access abortion. Gov. Henry did indeed VETO this bill (thanks Brad), but the incensed OK legislature overrode his veto less than 16 hours after it occurred.
What will make you puke is that Senate Bill 1878 contains many other disgusting items, including a section that MANDATES medically unnecessary ultrasounds before a woman can have her abortion. No other states mandate this, though some say the option must be made available to women.
Under the guise of obtaining informed patient consent, this new law requires doctors to withhold pregnancy termination until an ultrasound is performed. The law states that either an abdominal or vaginal ultrasound, whichever gives the best image of the fetus, must be done. Neither the patient nor the doctor can decide which type of ultrasound to use, and the patient cannot opt out of the ultrasound and still have the procedure. In effect, then, the legislature has mandated that a woman have an instrument placed in her vagina for no medical benefit. The law makes no exception for victims of rape and incest.
[This bill] is one of the most stomach-churning requirements I have ever seen. They are willing to physically violate and humiliate women who are determined to have an abortion and willing to use the threat of that humiliation to try to dissuade women from having a legal medical procedure. Even the normally distressing commenters at Salon’s Broadsheet understood that this is just wrong. As one so aptly said, isn’t there a word for sticking something in a woman’s vagina against her free and uncoerced will?
Yes, there is. Thank you, Oklahoma Legislature, for mandating medical rape.
I can’t quite say why, but I have a general and growing unease regarding my rights as a female-genitalled person these days. Something to do with these laws that purportedly are for my own good, or to save me from myself. Let me tell you something, anymore myself is the last person I need saving from… Oklahoma legislators would be much much higher on my list, as would Supreme Court Justices Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia and Alito. (They of these amazing words: “The Act also recognizes that respect for human life finds an ultimate expression in a mother’s love for her child. Whether to have an abortion requires a difficult and painful moral decision…which some women come to regret” from when they randomly upheld a ban on the intact dilation & extraction abortion procedure, even though for some women this is the safest option.)
Can’t you feel the love? The love these judges and legislators have for women, much like that of a mother for a child? No? Me neither.
A final note from Alternet:
Failure to perform the ultrasound also leads to fines beginning at $10,000 and increasing to more than $100,000. By comparison, the highest fine for negligent homicide or driving under the influence in Oklahoma is $1,000.
© idyllicmollusk 5/2/08