ONTD Political

Online posting of women's abortion information challenged in Oklahoma

9:11 am - 12/18/2009
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(CNN) -- A judge could determine Friday whether to allow an Oklahoma law to go forward that will post information online about women who get abortions in the state -- an act critics say would be harassment and an invasion of privacy.

"We don't feel that the government should be able to run a grand inquisition into women's private lives," says Jennifer Mondino, an attorney challenging the law on behalf of the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights.

State Sen. Todd Lamb helped draft the abortion legislation and describes it as "a common sense measure with bipartisan support." He says the left has tried to skew the law's intent through a campaign of misinformation.
"We're not trying to embarrass anybody, hurt anybody or make anybody's identities known. That's not the purpose of the legislation," the Republican lawmaker says.

"We want to collect hard data that can be a useful tool in helping prevent future unwanted pregnancies."

The law requires doctors to fill out a 10-page questionnaire for every abortion performed, including asking the woman about her age, marital status, race and years of education.

One section of the "Individual Abortion Form" says the woman must state her reason for seeking an abortion and answer this checklist. "Having a baby:
• Would dramatically change the life of the mother;
• Would interfere with the education of the mother;
• Would interfere with the job/employment/career of the mother."

A Democratic former state legislator calls the law "abusive and invasive."

"Nosy neighbors with some effort could identify or, even worse, misidentify these women who answer these questions," says former state Rep. Wanda Jo Stapleton, one of two Oklahoma residents on whose behalf the Center for Reproductive Rights brought the lawsuit against the measure.

Lamb, who is running for lieutenant governor, rejects that notion. How can it violate women's privacy, Lamb says, if their identity is kept confidential?

The measure specifies women's identities will be protected. "Nothing in the Individual Abortion Form shall contain the name, address or information specifically identifying any patient," it says.

"Nobody's identity will be made known," Lamb says.

Oklahoma County District Court Judge Daniel Owens will hear arguments Friday afternoon on a temporary injunction to keep the law from going into effect and a separate motion to dismiss the law altogether.

Troy Newman, the head of the Kansas-based anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, says the law is "designed so that the pregnant mother can have as much information as technology and medicine will allow."

"Naturally, the abortion industry wants to block this, because they know the more information the mom has, the less likely she is to abort her baby," Newman says.

The Center for Reproductive Rights argues that the measure is unconstitutional and in violation of the state's "single subject rule" because it covers different aspects of abortion. The law also bars women from seeking abortions solely because of the sex of the fetus, with fines up to $100,000 for doctors who "knowingly violate" it.

"We are very committed from keeping the law from going into effect," Mondino says. "The law represents a very serious invasion of women's privacy interests."

Lamb says he believes the law will stand. "None of the bill is being challenged on the merits of the legislation," he says.

Abortion rights supporters are extremely concerned about the intrusiveness of the questions, and fear that identities of women could be compromised, especially in small communities.

"It requires doctors to ask and submit answers to at least 37 intensely personal questions. There are details in those questions about rape, incest, abuse, relationship problems and emotional health," Stapleton says. "I think women can be identified."

According to state estimates, the Oklahoma State Department of Health will spend roughly $250,000 a year to carry out the law.

"To spend a quarter of a million dollars on this is absolutely ridiculous," Stapleton says, adding, "Oh goodness, all the publicity over this has severely blighted the image of Oklahoma."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1969 drafted criteria for vital statistics around abortion to look at infant and maternal mortality in an effort to make the procedure safer.

The CDC's guidelines have long been considered the standard and "all the states pretty much follow that," says Elizabeth Nash, who tracks state abortion legislation for the Guttmacher Institute.

"You compare the law in Oklahoma to the CDC standard, and you see the law in Oklahoma goes far beyond what has been considered appropriate for vital statistics purposes," Nash says.

The law's co-sponsor, Lamb, says legislators drafted the measure using portions of a Guttmacher study. "Some of this was gleaned from the Guttmacher Institute," he says. "It's not Draconian."

"If we collect this evidence, we can better treat, we can better counsel, we can better provide alternatives," Lamb says.

Why draft the legislation?

"I'm pro-life," he says. "Oklahoma is a conservative state. We are a pro-life state, and I believe it's important public policy to stand on the side of sanctity of life."

Stapleton, who served in the state House of Representatives from 1986 to 1996, says the law is another example of the GOP "onslaught" in recent years in Oklahoma, with lawmakers taking aim at abortion.

"They're trying to do away with abortions completely," she says. "They can't because of Roe v. Wade. But they're finding ways around Roe v Wade."

If the law does go forward, the state Department of Health is to have the Web site up and running by March 1, 2011. Doctors are to begin submitting completed questionnaires 30 days later.

Source

This is a clear violation of these womens right to privacy. There is no reason for them to do this.
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tehmerlechan 18th-Dec-2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks for continuing to fail, home state, and for making those of us who live here and are pro-choice look bad. :(
titsnteeth 18th-Dec-2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
AMEN.
teletai 18th-Dec-2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
Okay. I'm going to need a minute to calm down after reading this one.
teletai 18th-Dec-2009 02:38 pm (UTC)
I can't imagine sitting in clinic trying to answer questions like these.

One section of the "Individual Abortion Form" says the woman must state her reason for seeking an abortion and answer this checklist. "Having a baby:
• Would dramatically change the life of the mother;
• Would interfere with the education of the mother;
• Would interfere with the job/employment/career of the mother."


First point: She's a patient, not a 'mother'.

Second, the options are loaded and meaningless. 'Dramatically change the life of the mother'? If somebody checks 'yes' to that, it tells me absolutely nothing about her reasons for wanting the proceedure.

Women don't all lead the same life, they don't all have the same needs, their reasons for seeking abortion don't fit neatly into three wishy-washy categories.
bluetooth16 18th-Dec-2009 02:25 pm (UTC)
mhael Damn, Bluetooth, can't you talk to these people?18th-Dec-2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
You speak their language, you're all Conservativey and stuff. Can't you like... make them stop being inhuman dicks... or something?
my_private_muse 18th-Dec-2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
I feel like there's been a surgency of regression in this country.

Health-care bill, anti-Gay rights, anti-abortion, OMG SOCIALISM LIBRULS COMMIE NAZI HITLER~!1111ONE White House vs. Howard Fucking Dean, Tweety losing his shit with Dean, D: WAT

I mean, I know those issues have always been on the surface, but it just feels so pronounced now. What the FUCK is going on, America?
jmintmilano 18th-Dec-2009 02:36 pm (UTC)
I hope is the absolute batshit craziness that happens when people know they are gonna lose so they just Rant all the time in a desperate hope to cling to what they know.
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hyuga 18th-Dec-2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
If they want to collect hard data they can perform a scientific survey. They don't have to pass a fucking law to do that. It's not that hard.

In other words, what a load of crap.

Also, "Oh goodness, all the publicity over this has severely blighted the image of Oklahoma."

Sorry, but Oklahoma long since blighted the image of Oklahoma. Nothing shocks me coming out of there. (At least they gave us the Flaming Lips)

Edited at 2009-12-18 02:51 pm (UTC)
asoneill 18th-Dec-2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
Oooooooooo-klahoma!
Where your privacy goes spinning down the drain!
Where a man named Lamb
(Who's a big sham)
Tries to cut women's rights into twain!

Oooooooooo-klahoma!
Wants women to fill out this questionnaire;
To control your bod
In the name of God
Then kick you out the door with just a prayer!

We all know that this law is shit
And hope it gets repealed in a bit
And so we sayyyyyyy - FAIL
A-yipee-oh-ai-ay! FAIL!

We're only saying you're heading back to the Stone Age
Oklahoma, not-OK!
H-E-A-D-D-E-S-K
Oklahoma!
teletai 18th-Dec-2009 02:53 pm (UTC)
*applause.gif here*
titsnteeth 18th-Dec-2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
Hey guys, I'd just like to apologize for my state's politics. And Tom Coburn. We're not all like this, I swear!
jorajo 18th-Dec-2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
I moved away almost 9 years ago and yet I feel compelled to keep apologizing for my home state's behavior. Ugh.
simply_blah 18th-Dec-2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
"We're not trying to embarrass anybody, hurt anybody or make anybody's identities known. That's not the purpose of the legislation," the Republican lawmaker says.

That's exactly what you're trying to do, asshole.

"Nobody's identity will be made known," Lamb says.

You know, I doubt that. I really do. How long until someone tracks a woman down because of this and either kills or murder her?

Assholes.
iolarah 18th-Dec-2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
.
danceprincess20 18th-Dec-2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
So let's also start an online listing of men who purchase viagra and see how the men whose idea this was like that.
hyuga 18th-Dec-2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
We just want to collect hard data that can be a useful tool in helping prevent future unwanted flaccidity.
peacetrains 18th-Dec-2009 03:11 pm (UTC)
i can't wrap my head around this. conservatives are against government run health care because they're afraid it will be "rationed" or that the government is going to encroach on their right to make health decisions for themselves... but they think it's perfectly fine for the government to do those things when it comes to women seeking abortions!

also, bullshit women won't be able to be identified. the only reason they want to build a database like this is so they can continue the fucking witch hunt.
chasingtides 18th-Dec-2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
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titsnteeth 18th-Dec-2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
MTE Dean
pro_life_girl 18th-Dec-2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
right to privacy? what about the right not to be killed?
the_gabih 18th-Dec-2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
What, so you think you can force your opinion on a hotly-debated medical issue on millions of others in exchange for some privacy? That's not how the world works, bbs, much as I dislike the vast majority of abortions.
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the_gabih 18th-Dec-2009 03:13 pm (UTC)
Troy Newman, the head of the Kansas-based anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, says the law is "designed so that the pregnant mother can have as much information as technology and medicine will allow."

"Naturally, the abortion industry wants to block this, because they know the more information the mom has, the less likely she is to abort her baby," Newman says.


The fail. It hurts.

Did anyone else hear the whistling noise of the law's purpose going straight over the fundies' heads?

Edited at 2009-12-18 03:18 pm (UTC)
asoneill 18th-Dec-2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, it's totally about the information the mom has- as in, how much they can force her to legally admit in the name of 'research'. As in, how much she can reveal before some asshole in her tiny town puts two and two together and starts harassing her constantly...
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setosnicegirl 18th-Dec-2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
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the_gabih 18th-Dec-2009 03:27 pm (UTC)
That + your avatar just made my day complete. Thankyou.

(so excited about episode 48 oh my goodness...)
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