Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oklahoma Supreme Court: 2011 OK Abortion Law Is Unconstitutional

This time it's Oklahoma, where the state Supreme Court has struck down the state's draconian abortion law, passed in 2011, based on answers to questions long ago posed by the US Supreme Court:
In answering questions posed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court ruled that the law "restricts the long-respected medical discretion of physicians” and effectively bans all drug-induced abortions, according to the judge's order.
Look: nobody really likes abortion. It's a last-ditch solution to a problem nobody wants. But as the US Supreme Court ruled way back in 1973 in Roe v. Wade, a woman has a constitutional right under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to control her own body, including a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy. Most of the recent state laws on abortion are nothing more nor less than attempts to preempt Roe and violate that constitutional right.

If women are to be fully equal citizens of the United States, they must have fully implemented constitutional rights: as federal courts including the US Supreme Court have noted, e.g. in the complex, divided affirmation of the Roe ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, prior Courts long ago rejected the doctrine of "separate but equal," which was the basis of support for racial segregation in schools in Plessy v. Ferguson but later rejected in Brown v. Board of Education. Perhaps someday Republicans will succeed in appointing a Court that will overturn Roe... the current Court comes damned close to being willing, with its six Catholics... but if that day comes, women will have a constitutional and human right to rebel against any such decision.

If you really want to reduce the impact of the abortion issue, get busy inventing perfect contraceptives, at least one each for women and men, and make them available at no cost and with no restriction to any potentially fertile person, legal adult or not. While you're at it, remove all restrictions from "morning after" pills, which despite claims to the contrary are not abortifacients. It is this blatantly false claim that tells me, as much as anything else, that the fundamentalist Right privately perceives the abortion debate as nothing but an opportunity to take away women's basic human rights, an opportunity having nothing to do with alleged rights of fetuses.

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