General Question

seazen_'s avatar

Abortion law from Oklahoma - agree? Disagree? Thoughts?

Asked by seazen_ (4801points) April 20th, 2011

The new law won’t allow abortions after the 20th week.

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42 Answers

seazen_'s avatar

It’s the fourth state to pass the law.

JLeslie's avatar

Disagree. I would feel better if it was 22 weeks. And, won’t allow? Meaning at all? Or, it is still ok if the mother is in danger? Or, if the fetus has a fatal problem?

filmfann's avatar

So, that’s midway into the 2nd trimester. Is that without exception?
My wife has miscarried at 18 weeks. The child isn’t as developed as one might think.
I am glad I don’t have family in Oklahoma any more.

seazen_'s avatar

NO exceptions, even rape. Source

JLeslie's avatar

I find it outrageous then.

JLeslie's avatar

Rape is different than something wrong with the fetus. Why would a women need until the 20th week to figure out she is pregnant from a rape?

seazen_'s avatar

It has happened. A teen in denial, frightened to even think about it – not telling anyone about the incident – praying it just isn’t so… A less than, informed – very young teen e.g.

seazen_'s avatar

Anyone want to have a “live” discussion – I’m in the chatroom.

roundsquare's avatar

Is there anywhere to get the text of the law? The article is a bit ambiguous out the exact law (though I just skimmed it).

@seazen_ what chatroom?

syz's avatar

Oklahoma is just one of many states enacting dubious (at best) legislation; most of these measures are against the law. More at

seazen_'s avatar

@roundsquare click on chatroom – the one I’m in.

JLeslie's avatar

@seazen_ Yeah, I can see that, a young teen in denial. My final line that I have drawn previously was 6 months, so I guess that is 24 weeks, but 22 is a enough for me, because by then amnio results are back and have been discussed if I am not mistaken. Once it gets to the point that the fetus is viable I get a little queazy about it, which is a conflict with the idea that I believe no one should be obligated by law to support another life with their own bodies. I think “abortion” should be ok all the way through to save a pregnant woman’s life, or if there is something fatally wrong with the fetus. In the case of the mother in danger, it would be up to her in my opinion at 6 months whether to try and save the baby or not. After that it is basically able to survive with minimal medical help and should be consider an individual when delivered I think.

Now, from what I understand my state requires a woman to wait a week to get an abortion from the time she first requests one. That I think is horrible.

roundsquare's avatar

@seazen_ Sorry, please give more details. Where is the chatroom link? On fluther or on abc?

optimisticpessimist's avatar

@roundsquare At the very top of this page, the button that says, “Chat.”

roundsquare's avatar

So… from the article, abortions are still allowed. Doctors just need to do something (which you may hate) before performing an abortion.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

According to this article, there are exceptions.

The “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” presumes a fetus can experience pain after 20 weeks. It includes an exemption for abortions performed when the life of the mother is at risk or if there is a risk of physical impairment of a “major bodily function.”

seazen_'s avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Thanks. (we’re in chat btw.)

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m pro-choice, but I’ve never had to deal with an abortion myself or know at what point it isn’t allowed.

This is a fetus at 20 weeks

I have a few friends that are pregnant now (two at this stage) I don’t see how someone could abort a baby at this stage. Unless of course to save a mother’s life or if the baby has problems. Parents come home happily with ultrasound images at this stage. I’m not telling anyone I don’t think they should do it, I just think it is really sad. :(

(ready for the hate now)

I thought most abortions were done within the first three months. Am I wrong?

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond Yes, most are done very early, very very few after 20 weeks. See the pie chart on this page. The tricky part is amneo is performed at around 18 weeks I think?

roundsquare's avatar

@jonsblond I would imagine that those few that happen after the first trimester though are often for traumatic reasons. (Just a guess).

Aethelwine's avatar

@roundsquare That I can definitely understand.
@JLeslie Thanks for the information.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I really hate any time politicians try to mess with the abortion laws. I just feel like they are doing everything they can to get another step closer to repealing Roe vs. Wade and that frightens me.

I can understand not wanting late term abortions and the need for some regulation, but pushing it back sooner and sooner, making it legal to murder abortion providers (I forget which state tried this, but one did recently), forcing the ultrasounds to be viewed by the woman, and everything else they have been trying recently just make it harder to think they are trying to do anything other than push their agenda to get rid of abortions completely.

ETpro's avatar

More “Small Government” Republicanism. Their meaning of that seems to be a government so small it fits in every couple’s bedroom and every woman’s womb. The GOP has pushed a heartbeat bill in Ohio that outlaws all abortions after 5 to 6 weeks. In other words, by the time a woman knows she’s pregnant, it’s already too late. South Dakots Republicans have passed an outright ban on all abortion. They are trying to provoke a court challenge, sure that a supreme court that sees the place in the constitution where it says Corporations are citizens also won’t find any right to privacy in the Constitution. The new Republican packed Supreme Court (or perhaps Supreme Corporatists) just seems to know what it wants, ideologically, from the Constitution and they will find some obscure wording or convoluted logic to legislate from the bench.

Funny, they campaigned in 2010 on jobs, jobs, jobs. Once elected it’s all union busting, anti-abortion, gay bashing, demonization of immigrants, tax cuts for the rich and heavy support for tax breaks for corporations that offshore jobs. Sometimes what they run on makes a lot of sense. But I am more concerned with what they really do when they get their hands on the wheel.

JLeslie's avatar

Uhhhhhh, I am getting that yucky feeling about America again. How can this be my country?

augustlan's avatar

Worse, in my opinion, than the 20 week cut off, is the forced viewing of the sonogram screen and hearing of the details about dimensions, number of fingers, etc. That’s just emotional blackmail, plain and simple.

seazen_'s avatar

It’s a big country – and lotsa people.

The law of averages means: you can’t agree with everyone and everything.

Love the good things – and there are plenty.

JLeslie's avatar

@seazen_ Generally I always feel the entire country is open to me. Things like this make my country feel smaller.

jlelandg's avatar

It’s good and as this law continues to gain traction I become more satisfied with the abortion laws, but unfortunately that won’t satisfy the “pro-life” crowd. They want to enact their exact morals on everyone.

gorillapaws's avatar

More “Big Government” from the radical right. Weren’t they supposed to be foaming-at-the-mouth-opposed to the government getting involved in medical decisions? They’re a walking logical paradox.

Zaku's avatar


jlelandg's avatar

Can someone please make a rational argument as to why this law/banning partial birth abortion is so bad? I heard someone give the reason that “only pregnancies with complications wait this long”. If I’m missing something here, I would listen to it, but I don’t see it currently.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@jlelandg Because it’s another step toward decreasing a woman’s right to choose, plain and simple. There is more to this law than just the timing of when a woman could get an abortion, there is also the mandate that the woman must view an ultrasound (sometimes these are transvaginal ultrasounds and not just abdominal ultrasounds) and the doctor must describe all the body parts and functions of each that are seen during the ultrasound (down to the number of fingers and toes if they are seen). There is no exemption for this part, even in cases of rape and incest. So a woman raped and impregnated could then possibly be forced to have a doctor insert a transvaginal wand into her and then describe all of it before being able to give her an abortion.

Also, another law in Oklahoma protects doctors from being sued if they withhold information about birth defects in order to keep the mother from being able to choose to have an abortion at the appropriate time. (Source) This would allow a physician to purposefully not tell a woman that her child has one of those medical issues until after the timeline for a legal abortion had passed, thus forcing her to carry a child that may not make it to birth or who may die a painful death shortly after birth.

JLeslie's avatar

@jlelandg From what I understand partial birth is better for the mother. Late abortions are usually because something is wrong with the fetus, usually those women want their babies. To take away the procedure that is less traumatic on the mothers body seems wrong. I feel the people outlawing partial birth abortions have the real goal of outlawing late abortions. I know two people who had late term abortions. One had gone through IVF to get pregnant, and the baby basically had no brain. The other found out on amnio her baby had a serious genetic disease. They both wanted to be pregnant. I find it awful the government can say what medical procedure will be chosen to terminate the pregnancy. Moreover, the woman wants the safest procedure so she can quickly get pregnant again.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Also, this isn’t about partial birth abortions (which is a specific type of abortion according to the partial birth abortion ban (which is when the term was thought up)), these laws are about any abortion, even those done early on in pregnancy. Partial birth abortions have been banned for several years now.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, the Q is about abortion after 20 weeks, so partial birth would be an option, if it was still an option. I think it is illegal now.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, there is already a federal ban on partial birth abortions (it was signed into law in 2003, source) and many states also have bans on it at the state level. In addition to the bans on partial birth abortions, there are many states that have specific bans for late-term abortions that occur later in the pregnancy and include some of the techniques that do not apply under the partial birth abortion bans.

jlelandg's avatar

I think I see what your saying. I could never be for an abortion where the baby could arguably be birthed and be able to sustain life. However, I think that the first 3 months are within ones own moral set for choosing. I obviously don’t think we should be putting hard time limits on these things past that 2nd trimester and I think the flaw in my thinking was forgetting that partial birth abortion is already illegal. Let me clarify my thought on the law given what I now know:

While rooted in some good ideas, the law could create major problems, I think passing it without recognizing cases like rape, life of the mother, deformity could create major unnecessary legal issues. If the really want to legislate this, they should possibly re-write (from what we have been told in this thread). Otherwise, just leave it at PB ban, and be done with it.

JLeslie's avatar

@jlelandg It would be great if they would be done with it, but their goal is to make all abortion illegal. Partial birth abortion became illegal at the federal level during the Bush years if I remember correctly. Clinton had vetoed it.

jlelandg's avatar

You can’t blame them in their argument that abortion should be illegal. They believe you are killing a human being. My problem with them is that they don’t accept the idea that other people’s moral codes and standards can be slightly different from their own. I used to be completely “pro-life” but got tired of people that hang butchered baby fetus pictures big enough for all to see are just as evil to me as they see that little girl who made a mistake and just found out about it and went to planned parenthood. “Reproductive rights” are def. not as black and white as they make it out to be.

JLeslie's avatar

@jlelandg I don’t blame them. I get why someone who believes life begins at conception has trouble with the idea of abortion. What I always say is lets not argue about whether it is a life, let’s decide whether we want the government to say a person can be forced by law to support another life?

I know a couple pro-life people who had abortions. Both wanted to be pregnant. I bet they still walk around calling themselves pro-life. It isn’t untrue really, the fetuses would never had made it to term, or would have died moments after birth, they would never abort otherwise, but they really wanted the abortion to get it over with, and make it easier on the woman. The way they vote, they could have wound up in a country where it was really hard to come by a medical professional who could do the procedure. There is this overwhelming push in America that pregnancy is wonderful and natural and nothing ever goes wrong, but things go wrong all of the time.

Recently there was a nun excommunicated because she helped a woman get an abortion because her life was in danger. She had other children, but the church felt she should have stuck with the pregnancy and probably left her children motherless.

90% of fetuses identified with downs syndrome are aborted. No way they are all pro-choice women.

The pro-lifers get safe abortions, because the pro-choice people keep up the fight.

Back in the 90’s Mitt Romney was pro choice, I have no idea where he stands now, stating he is pro life for himself, but a young family member of his had a bad abortion and died, so he wants abortion to be safe. I have to assume his family member was Mormon, needed to hide her decision to abort, and had it done “back alley.” This is why all laws that inhibit a woman’s right to abort scare us. Laws that require parent notification, long waiting times, all mean a young girl might avoid a legal abortion even if it is available.

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