Oklahoma GOP wants to create a database of everyone who seeks an abortion. Yes, really

By Aldous J Pennyfarthing | 11 February 2022
Daily Kos

(Credit: Hillel Steinberg / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0)

It feels like red states are continually trying to one-up each other when it comes to restricting reproductive rights. If, say, Kansas announces it’s going to make patients jump through hoops to access abortion services, Oklahoma may stand up and say, “Hold my middling, watered-down American simulacrum of a beer and watch this! We’re gonna make ‘em jump through flaming hoops—right into our disgracefully weak social safety net. Enjoy, ladies!”

Of course, no story that begins with “Republicans have introduced a bill …” ever ends in anything but tears, but this one seems especially egregious. People! The Handmaid’s Tale is not an instruction manual! Do right-wingers watch A Clockwork Orange and think those eyelid clamps would be ideal for Mike Pence’s CPAC speeches? Come on, man!

The Daily Beast:

Oklahoma Republicans have introduced a bill to the state legislature to create a government-run database that tracks women considering abortions. Senate Bill 1167, known as EMMA—Every Mother Matters Act—would create a call center for pregnant women who want “pre-abortion” resources. The hotline, however, would only provide information about “support services, other than abortion,” like adoption, housing, and child care options.’

Sheesh. We’re still doing this? There’s nothing wrong with providing information on support services, but maybe we can trust people with all the information they need to make an informed decision? Just a thought.

Is Oklahoma gonna force Pornhub to air a disclaimer before every video, informing men that at least two potential future presidents are hidden in each batch of ejaculate they’re fixin’ to throw out, as opposed to (at most!) one serial killer? It’s only fair to those potential zygotes yearning simply to breathe free and not (most likely) to chain anyone to a cinderblock at the bottom of a well before blithely eating their faces off.

HuffPost:

Each pregnant person will call a hotline and be connected with a “pre-abortion resource” assistant, but that person is legally not allowed to refer a patient to an abortion provider. The pregnant person would then be assigned a “unique identifying number” in the database, and abortion providers would be mandated to keep the information for seven years.

As part of the program, the woman will “be connected with a care agent who will provide, at no cost to her, an assessment of eligibility and offer assistance in obtaining support services, other than abortion, for her or the unborn child’s biological father,” according to a press statement from Burns’ office. […] It is unclear if the hotline assistants will have any medical expertise in reproductive care, but the legislation does bar anyone who’s worked for an abortion clinic in the past from signing up to be a resource agent.

Yes, let’s keep track of anyone who has an abortion. That doesn’t feel like an overreach or anything. But, again, a masturbation database would make just as much sense because …

Of course, ever since popular vote loser Donald Trump added three white Catholics to the bench as a preemptive counterbalance to all those imagined sassy Black women, anti-choicers are feeling their oats. And they apparently won’t stop until webcams are standard equipment in every fecund uterus from Maine to Maui.

“[W]e have absolutely seen the bills get more and more extreme,” said Oklahoma House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, a Democrat, told HuffPost. “That’s due to the national landscape and the conservative majority on the Supreme Court. I think the anti-abortion movement has been strengthened and emboldened by that. And with our current governor, it’s pretty likely that he’ll sign any anti-abortion bill that makes it to his desk.”

Gee, ya think?

[T]his year’s anti-abortion bills―11 were pre-filed before the legislative session even began―bring fresh menace. The state’s Republican governor has already promised that he would sign any abortion restriction the Oklahoma Legislature sends his way. Moreover, some bills, which clearly go beyond what’s allowed by Roe v. Wade and normally would immediately get bogged down in the court system, could actually become law given the looming U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which could upend five decades of abortion rights.

Just one Republican presidential candidate has won the popular vote in the past 30 years, and yet in that same timeframe, Republicans have appointed five SCOTUS justices. That seems real fair. And now they appear poised to wad up Roe v. Wade and flush it down the toilet, leaving pregnant people in red states—particularly poor ones—to be tracked, lied to, and treated like the children they’re being forced to give birth to.

When will it end? Probably not soon, unless Congress can somehow succeed in expanding the Supreme Court. But that won’t happen unless we elect more and better Democrats. You know what to do.

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