An extremist anti-abortion bill proposed this year in the Oklahoma legislature would have made anyone who performs the procedure subject to first degree murder charges.
— KFOR (@kfor) March 9, 2016
It’s doubtful that Senate Bill 1118, sponsored by Republican State Sen. Joseph Silk of Broken Bow, would have ever made it through the legislative process, but it’s worth noting anyway as an example of the wasted time and energy that our state leaders spend on advancing extremist, right-wing religious positions instead of doing the basic work of governance and crafting real-life policy that would help the state overcome its many challenges.
The bill didn’t make it through the legislature process because even the radical extremists who lead our government here knew the murder-charge proposal is obviously unconstitutional and just plain bizarre. The bill has made national news, of course. The only thing positive one might say about it is that at least its supporters openly admit their intent is to abolish abortion. Many anti-abortion advocates often use disingenuous rhetoric to advance legislation limiting reproductive rights and don’t openly state their real goal is to abolish the procedure.
The bill, as amended and currently on the legislative web site, now would make it illegal for anyone to perform an abortion if a “fetal heartbeat is detected.” This, too, is an unconstitutional proposal, which would draw a successful lawsuit.
What’s 100 percent certain is that the abortion procedure would continue in this country even if it was made illegal through a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which seems unlikely.
Republican-dominated legislatures throughout the country have made it more difficult for women in recent years to obtain a medically safe abortion in some states, putting the lives and health of thousands of American women at risk. The anti-abortion movement in the United States is a right-wing religious initiative that has been used as a social and cultural wedge issue to manipulate people into voting against their financial interests. Fiscal conservatives join with social conservatives to limit reproductive rights for political advantage, not out of conscience or religious fervor. It’s a way for fiscal conservatives to ensure income inequality while placating the masses with visceral appeals made by social conservatives myopically focused on abortion.
Oklahoma is currently in a revenue failure, which means the state’s revenues continue to decline and the state can’t meet its fiscal obligations without budget cuts. The state also faces a $1.3 billion shortfall out of its approximately $7 billion or less discretionary budget for next year, and that shortfall number could grow. The state’s revenues for February, for example, were 18 percent below the official estimate and 25 percent below actually revenues in the same month last year. We’re entering into a bleak financial period in Oklahoma that truly has the potential to become one of the worst in its history.
But even though we’re in a major revenue crisis, legislators still showboat with religious arguments about protecting fetuses and installing a Ten Commandments monument on state Capitol grounds. As I’ve argued before, none of us here will escape unscathed financially during this time period, except for the extremely wealthy. The crazy legislative sideshow makes it even harder to endure.
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) March 16, 2016