Weekly Opinion/Editorial OK ABORTION LAW OVERTURNED!
by Steve Fair
Last week was not a good week for the unborn in Oklahoma. On Friday, Oklahoma County District Judge Dan Owens struck down a 2009 law that was intended to prevent a mother from aborting a child because it was not the gender she wanted. Owens said the law had multiple subjects that were unrelated to each other which violated the state constitution. The other ‘unrelated’ issue in the law overturned on Friday would have required doctors to report age, marital status and education level of women having abortions to the state health department.
Back in August, another Oklahoma pro-life bill was struck down for the same reason- more than one issue. That bill required that a mother see an ultra-sound of her baby before she made the decision to have an abortion.
Judge Owens said, "It’s pretty disturbing we have to pass a statute to prevent people from doing that,”
the judge said of gender-selection abortions. "It’s uncivilized.”
It may be uncivilized, but the judge still struck down the law. Special Assistant Attorney General Teresa Collett, who defended the law on behalf of the state, said “We’re disappointed that any court would interpret the state Constitution as a barrier to aborting a child because of the sex,”
Collett said. “We find it remarkable, certainly nothing that the pioneers would have anticipated as they wrote our constitution.” *****
The law was challenged by a New York pro-choice clinic that filed the suit on behalf of two Oklahoma women. One of the plainiffs, Lora Joyce Davis of Shawnee said “I am disappointed to hear all this rhetoric about gender and sex-selective abortions.” That’s the most ridiculous and insulting thing to say to Oklahoma voters. The purpose is publicity, I think, to drum up emotions about a very private issue.”
It's not so 'private' when taxpayers fund abortions.
According to Planned Parenthood, most women give three reasons for choosing abortion. Three-quarters say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about two-thirds say they can't afford a child; and half say they don't want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner. Note there is nothing about the child’s right to live- it’s all about the mother’s rights.
On Saturday, I talked with State Senator Todd Lamb, (R-Edmond) the Senate author of the bill struck down Friday. Lamb is the Senate sponsor of a single-issue bill this session that is already out of committee in the Senate. A one-issue bill on the sonogram issue is out of the committee in the House. It’s very likely there will be new one-issue pro-life bills that will pass constitutional muster signed into law, but for some aborted children it will be too late.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, last year around seven thousand babies were legally aborted in Oklahoma. They also report that Oklahoma abortion rates are about half of the U.S. abortion rates (we rate 32nd). There are over a million legal abortions performed in the U.S. annually. According to Guttmacher, almost fifty million legal abortions have been performed in America since 1973 when Roe vs. Wade became law. In the Sooner state, ten children are aborted out of every one thousand pregnancies.
The number of abortions is down in the U.S.- about 25% since hitting a peak in 1990, according to Guttmacher. In the early 1980s, nearly one in three pregnant women chose abortion. The most recent data show that proportion is closer to one in five.
Pro-lifers have to be encouraged. Along with the reduced number of legal abortions being performed, more people are identifying themselves as pro-life. According to a Gallup Poll, conducted in May 2009 51% of Americans now call themselves "pro-life" on the issue of abortion and 42% "pro-choice." This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in polling back in 1995.
It would seem the illogical arguments the pro-choice movement uses like- ‘we don’t know when life begins’
and ‘a fetus is a part of a women’s body like her tonsils and appendix.’
and ‘a fetus is just a potential human being, not a real one,’
are starting to resonate with the American people. *****
Science tells us that human life begins at the time of conception. From the moment fertilization takes place, the child's genetic makeup is already complete. Its gender has already been determined, along with its height and hair, eye and skin color. The only thing the embryo needs to become a fully-functioning being is the time to grow and develop.
As former President Reagan said, ‘Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.’