Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Make that a defeat for abortion rights in Oklahoma

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Abortion rights
Not according to self-righteous lawmakers, it ain’t

I just knew it. Last Saturday, I commented on the report that Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry (D) had vetoed two ghastly bills aimed at restricting abortion rights, one that would’ve had pregnant women undergo a highly intrusive ultrasound method whilst being lectured at length about the fetus, while the other intended to shield doctors from lawsuits should they neglect to inform expecting parents about any potential birth defects in their unborn offspring. As if this weren’t all good enough, the bills didn’t even carry any exceptions in cases of rape or incest. So: didn’t mean to, y’know, get raped and fall pregnant with your aggressor’s seed? Yup, you still get to have a big, cold probe stuffed up your privates and receive a sermon on the wonders of that parasitic blob of cells in your womb and how wrong it would be to get rid of it. (And, of course, if your doctor decides to leave his ethics at home one day and “neglects” to tell you that your fetus is carrying some potentially disfiguring or lethal defect, you can’t do a damn thing about it.)

It’s a breathtaking relief that these atrocious pieces of legislation were prevented from becoming law by Governor Henry … or, at least, it would’ve been – had the Rethuglican-dominated legislature not acted on their promise and overwhelmingly voted to overrule Gov. Henry’s veto, effectively ushering these travesties against basic reproductive health and civil rights into becoming law.

Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat, vetoed both bills last week. The ultrasound law, he said, was flawed because it did not exempt rape and incest victims and was an unconstitutional intrusion into a woman’s privacy. He painted the other measure as immoral.

“It is unconscionable to grant a physician legal protection to mislead or misinform pregnant women in an effort to impose his or her personal beliefs on a patient,” Mr. Henry said.

The Republican majorities in both houses, however, saw things differently. On Monday, the House voted overwhelmingly to override the vetoes, and the Senate followed suit at 10:42 a.m. Tuesday, making the two measures law.

It makes one wonder what the bloody point in having a rare conscientious lawmaker as Governor is if his legislature of thugs and cranks can go right ahead and cut his legs out from under him like that. Ah, the wonders of modern politics.

(via @nytimes)