This morning, Oklahoma legislatures took the war on women’s bodies to a new level. Lawmakers approved a bill that would make it a felony to perform abortions and would make the procedure punishable by up to three years in prison. According to The Washington Post, “the bill also says that any physician who participates in an abortion will be prohibited from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in the state.”
The bill passed in both the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the state’s senate by large margins. This is the first time that such extreme measures have been taken to limit women’s access to safe abortions, says the Center for Reproductive Rights. They also say that previously, states “seeking to ban abortions have simply banned the procedure rather than attaching penalties like this.”
The Oklahoma State Medical Association has stated that it will not comment on the legality of abortion but stated that it will not support this bill as it will “oppose legislation that is designed to intimidate physicians or override their medical judgement.” If the lawmakers in Oklahoma won’t listen to women, maybe they’ll listen when their bill is publically denounced by their state’s doctors.
The Associated Press quoted State Senator Nathan Dahm, who stated that he hopes that this bill could be the first step towards the overturning of Roe V. Wade. This assault on the rights of women did not go unopposed. Senior state legislative counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, Amanda Allen, called the measure a “new low” and a “blatantly unconstitutional measure.” Women in Oklahoma face a very real threat to their bodily autonomy, and the Center for Reproductive Rights — as well as many pro-choice activists — are attempting to take steps to ensure that women have access to safe abortion and the reproductive rights they deserve.
lead image by Robert Couse-Baker via flickr
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