Monday, November 9, 2009

Oklahoma v. Women

If Oklahoma state lawmakers have their way, the government will have access to records of women's personal lives and be able to post the details on the internet. This may seem simply troubling and uncouth until it is discovered that the law specifically targets women seeking abortions, then it becomes a gross political game, and an abhorring one at that.

According to a New York Times editorial on Oct. 26, 2009, Oklahoma tried to pass a law that would require women seeking an abortion to fill out a 10-page questionnaire about their reasons for having an abortion, including the woman's relationship with the father and other highly-personal information. It also required some abortion information to be posted on a public website.

The editorial put it in better words than I could. It read, "The law’s purpose is political. Its real aim is to persuade doctors to stop performing abortions by placing new burdens on their practice, to intimidate and shame women, and to stigmatize a legal medical procedure that one in three women have at some point in their lives."

Thankfully, the Center for Reproductive Rights received a temporary restraining order to keep the bill from going into effect on Nov. 1.

The editorial was clear and concise. It gave the facts and some statistics to back up the information, such as the fact that one in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime. That well-chosen statistic made me realize how close-to-home the issue is. it is a personal one that affects more women than most people realize.

The editorial stated plainly that the government has no business probing into the personal lives of women on such an intimate subject and I whole-heartedly agree.

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