Many controversial topics have been coming up lately across the United States. The debate over some issues has become far more heated than at any point in the past. One of the most divisive issues around today is abortion. Citizens, lobbying groups and politicians have been battling over abortion ever since it was legalized by the Supreme Court. Every challenge to the right to have an abortion has been defeated even when taken up to the Supreme Court again. This has left some people with strong beliefs feeling frustrated and powerless. Something changed recently, however, and anti-choice advocates have started resorting to new and sometimes questionable tactics to ban the procedure.
A major problem is that anti-choice advocates usually base their objections on religious beliefs and not science. Nearly all Christian churches preach that abortion is against the will of God despite there being several instances of it in the Bible. Some groups are so fervently against the legality of abortion that they spend every day protesting outside of reproductive health clinics attempting to physically stop people from going inside. Rhetoric from Right Wing and Christian broadcasters has stirred up those passions. There have even been several murders of doctors providing abortions by extremists within the movement.
There is a perception by some religious anti-choice people who abortion must be stopped at all costs even if that means destroying personal rights, blocking access or undermining the Constitution. The problem is that those beliefs are held by a large and influential block of Republican voters. This is why the abortion debate falls along largely party lines. Democrats generally protect the right to an abortion while Republicans seek to remove it. Republican lawmakers have started to take bolder and bolder steps legislatively towards limiting access to abortions and even reproductive health clinics.
The latest battle is taking place in the state of Oklahoma. The state is largely Republican. The legislature is controlled by Republicans meaning that incredibly Conservative legislation actually has a chance of passing. This is probably the reason why an anti-choice bill was passed by both parts of the Oklahoma legislature. The bill states that any doctor or medical professional who performs an abortion in the state will have his or her license revoked. It is the first bill of this type to actually be passed by a state.
The problem is that the bill is blatantly unconstitutional. It is attempting to make a legal medical procedure in the United States illegal. It seeks to punish medical professionals who have done nothing wrong. It attempts to circumvent the findings of the Supreme Court and decades of case-law. Another problem is that this bill is attempting to codify religious beliefs into state law. This flies in the face of the secular government the United States has worked so hard to maintain. One supporter in Oklahoma even freely admitted it by saying “If we take care of morality, God will take care of the economy.”
Republican Governor Mary Fallin has not signed the bill into law and has not discussed her intentions yet. This is not the first time that Republicans have attempted to skirt the law in order to make abortions impossible to access. States such as Texas passed stringent requirements that would force almost all reproductive health centers to shut down. Other states have attempted to pass so-called “personhood amendments” to make abortions a crime. Some of the efforts have been successful while others have failed. Some are still in the court system being litigated. Many pro-choice groups have come out and declared that they will challenge the bill in court if it is passed.