Someone else must have pointed out the glaring contradiction in the reasoning between two of Oklahoma's recent abortion laws, but it bears repeating here. The ultrasound law is based on the idea that women should have every piece of information possible before having an abortion, even if that information is obtained via an extraordinarily invasive procedure. That law's implementation has been delayed temporarily while the state retains the services of Teresa Collette to defend it. Collette said this: "It would be remarkable if a women would undergo a medical procedure and a doctor would not have an obligation to describe the procedure and the results of that procedure to the patient." Indeed, that would be remarkable. In fact, that makes the bill sound somewhat reasonable, if you ignore the whole invasive procedure against the patient's will part of it.
But let's assume, against all evidence, that the state of Oklahoma and Professor Collette are arguing in good faith. Why, then, this?
Under this new law, a doctor may withhold information, mislead or even blatantly lie to a pregnant woman and her partner about the health of their baby if the doctor so much as thinks that fetal test results would cause a woman to consider abortion.This is HB 2656, passed at the same time as the first law, and whose veto was overturned at the same time. So the state mandates an invasive procedure--the ultrasound wand has to be inserted vaginally if that will produce the clearest image--ostensibly because the doctor has an obligation to describe the results of all tests and procedures to a patient, while simultaneously giving the doctor the option to lie to the patient about the results of that procedure if he or she thinks those results would cause the patient to consider an abortion. If Oklahoma isn't the Republic of Gilead yet, it's real close.
It's possible--even likely, I'd argue--that the legislators who voted for these measures didn't see this contradiction when they voted on, or even when they wrote this legislation, because it's very obvious how they feel about women. Women, in their minds, are incapable of coming to the "correct" decision on an abortion, and so must be forced into that decision by whatever means are available. If that means they have to make doctors rape their patients with an ultrasound wand and turn the screen toward them while describing what they're seeing, it's a small price to pay as far as they're concerned. And if a doctor thinks that telling a woman that her fetus might be born with SMA or Down's Syndrome would cause her to consider getting an abortion, well, the doctor knows better, and the woman should just deal with the consequences.
Not that this should be surprising. After all, one of Oklahoma's Senators is a doctor who was accused of sterilizing a woman against her will and thought there was an epidemic of lesbianism in Oklahoma high schools. Okay, that second one isn't really relevant, but it does show the kind of people who can get elected to statewide office in Oklahoma. Oklahoma politicians respect women the way radical Muslims do--women can't be trusted to make their own decisions about their own bodies and so must have that ability taken away whenever possible, contradictions be damned.