In Oklahoma the religious rights’s assault on women’s reproductive freedom continues. Wednesday Governor Mary Fallin signed two new lawsinto existence that further restrict a woman’s right to an abortion. The new laws make Oklahoma one of the most restrictive states in the nation.
House Bill 1888, “The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” will force a woman to carry to term any pregnancy after 20 weeks, regardless of defects. Hence government will force women to carry to term a fetus that has no chance of life outside of the womb. For many such a measure is cruel and inhumane, an unnecessary and unwarranted barbarism inflicted on a woman already in pain.
The law also makes it a felony for doctors to perform abortions after 20 weeks and presumes a fetus can feel pain after 20 weeks, a presumption that has no basis in science. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has stated it knows of “no legitimate scientific information that supports the statement that a fetus experiences pain.”
In addition, the law makes no exception for cases of rape or incest.
The second law constitutes an economic assault on women’s reproductive freedom. The law prohibits standard insurance policies in the state from covering abortions. For many, such a measure is nothing but a means to punish and penalize women who dare exercise their constitutional rights.