You go Oklahoma:
The Oklahoma Legislature on Thursday passed a bill that would effectively ban abortions by subjecting doctors who perform them to felony charges and revoking their medical licenses — the first legislation of its kind.
The bill would strip doctors who perform abortions of their medical licenses unless the procedure was necessary to save a woman’s life. The felony provision does not include that exception.
Given that the Supreme Court has ruled that abortion is a Constitutional right, this law is going nowhere. I do love the fact that a doctor can go to jail for performing an abortion even to save the woman’s life, religious conservatives are so compassionate.
One thing you might want to know:
Thursday’s vote in the Senate comes as the Oklahoma Legislature nears a May 27 deadline for adjournment and is still grappling with a $1.3 billion budget hole that could lead to deep cuts to public schools, health care and the state’s overcrowded prison system.
So they pass this bill which will probably cost the state millions:
In an open letter on Thursday, the Center for Reproductive Rights, a legal group based in New York, urged Ms. Fallin to veto what it said was a “blatantly unconstitutional measure.”
Noting that it has sued Oklahoma eight times in the last six years, blocking lesser restrictions like the state’s effort to ban the second-trimester surgical method, the center said that “this bill will almost certainly lead to expensive court challenges that the State of Oklahoma simply cannot defend in light of longstanding Supreme Court precedent.”
Of course, Oklahoma doesn’t really care about schools–at least not as much as oil profits:
After intense lobbying, Oklahoma’s oilmen scored a victory two years ago. State lawmakers voted to keep in place some of the lowest taxes on oil and gas production in the United States – a break worth $470 million in fiscal year 2015 alone.
The state’s schools haven’t been so fortunate. In Newcastle, 23 miles from the capital of Oklahoma City, John Cerny recently learned that the school attended by his five-year-old granddaughter, Adelynn, will open just four days a week next year. The Bridge Creek school district will slash spending because of a projected $1.3 billion state budget shortfall next year.
Shale regions are hurting across the country. Since 2014, the U.S. energy industry has shed more than 100,000 jobs. But during the drilling spree of 2008 to 2014, oil-rich states like North Dakota and Texas saw a sharp rise in oil-and-gas tax revenue and salted away a chunk of it for education. Over the same period, Oklahoma’s oil and gas production tax revenue slid 32 percent, in spite of soaring oil prices and a doubling of oil output.
Oklahoma’s education spending per pupil fell by 24 percent between 2008 and 2016, the biggest drop in the country, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington D.C. group that tracks budget and tax issues on behalf of low-income people.
There’s this saying that conservatives only care about a fetus until it’s born. I always thought this was hyperbole, but it seems it’s true for Oklahoma conservatives.