In Oklahoma, things are heating up. On November 1, the state will put into effect a law that allows personal details about abortion patients to be published on an openly available website.
House Bill 1595 would require medical personnel to supply detailed information about abortions they perform to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The bill, which will cost more than $281,000 to implement, according to Rep. Wanda Jo Stapleton-D, of Oklahoma City, would provide all abortion patients to fill out a questionare, which includes the date of the abortion performed, the county, the marital status and race of the mother.
So far, the citizens of Oklahoma County seem less than pleased. According to Think Progress, a social and economic online paper, over 160 comments have been filed in regards to the new state law. And most of them are outraged.
According to one commentor: “[Oklahoma] will fight equality, justice, peace, & a clean environment every step of the way. You can count on that.”
And another: “New Oklahoma law will publicy post details of women’s abortions online. – In which public square will they have the bonfire burning of these women?”
Oklahoma residents are worried that providing such intimate details publicly may make it easy to identify a patient in a small town. Others, like Stapleton, are filing a lawsuit against the new bill, citing that it is unconstitutional under Oklahoma law because it covers more than one subject, a fact that violates the OK Constitution.
The true outrage, however, lies in the fact that no one is protesting the fact that the bill violates HIPAA law, which states that all information in medical records must remain confidential, and cannot provide identifying details to the public. Women’s rights would be publicly violated, and their trust and faith in both doctors and the law would be tarnished. The reason for Bill 1595 lies in the attempt to prevent abortions based on the the gender of the fetus. The true nature of the bill is to prevent women from the right to have an abortion and to intimidate doctors into refusing to perform one.
As one commenter so rightfully pointed out, Oklahoma is apparently fighting equality and justice in favor of old-fashioned misogynism and fear. A backwards state indeed.