I am not, as you may or may not have noticed, a big fan of abortion. I am also not, as it happens, a big fan of stupid legislation. So stupid abortion legislation definitely pushes the wrong buttons around here.

House Bill 2654, by Susan Winchester (R-Chickasha), creates something called the Oklahoma Statistical Reporting Abortion Act, and if you thought the Census was getting intrusive, you ain't seen nothing yet.

After two sections which deal with physician identification and, um, productivity, Part III asks the following questions:

  1. Date of Abortion
  2. Age of Mother
  3. Approximate gestational age, in weeks as measured from the last menstrual period of the mother, of the unborn child subject to abortion
  4. Method of abortion used
  5. Reason for abortion (check all applicable):
    • avert the death of the mother
    • the pregnancy was a result of rape
    • the pregnancy was a result of incest
    • the mother cannot afford the child
    • the mother does not want the child
    • the emotional health of the mother is at risk
    • the mother will suffer substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function if the pregnancy continues
    • the mother wanted a child of a different sex
    • other
  6. Method of payment (check one):
    • private insurance
    • public health plan
    • other
  7. Type of medical health coverage (check one):
    • a fee-for-service insurance company
    • a managed care company
    • other
  8. Complications
  9. Fee collected
  10. Type of anesthetic used
  11. Method of fetal tissue disposal
  12. State the specialty area of medicine of the physician
  13. State the number of previous abortions this mother has had
  14. Indicate whether ultrasound equipment was used in the performance of this abortion
  15. If so, was the mother given an opportunity to view the ultrasound picture of her unborn child prior to the performance of the abortion?

Nosiree, no emotionally-charged verbiage in this bill. And this is the final engrossed House version of the bill; unless the Senate demands amendments or turns it down outright, Brad Henry will see this on his desk.

I read this over twice, and the same thought came to me: "You will provide us with a stick to beat you with, and we reserve the right to regulate sticks."

Rep. Winchester explains: "It's our hope that information collected through this report could help us better understand the reasons these procedures are happening and put those things into place that would prevent this situation from happening again in the future."

Translation: "We don't have the votes to pass a South Dakota-like ban, so this is the best we can do."

No, Susie, it's not the best you can do. It's merely the most noxious.

Some of us who aren't too crazy about snuffing children in the womb also have this strange idea that a measure billed as "Statistical Reporting" should report, you know, statistics; I'm guessing that humiliation of women for partisan political purposes is just a fringe benefit.

The Vent

  6 March 2006

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 Copyright © 2006 by Charles G. Hill