What would you be thinking if you were about to have an abortion?
Would you be scared, shaking, hoping for the end to near?
Probably. But women in Oklahoma may soon have a few more things to think about.
Two Oklahoma laws, which were originally set to go action on Sunday, would require a woman seeking an abortion to fill out a 36-question survey about her reason for having the operation.
Among other intrusive topics, the survey asks the female’s reason for having an abortion, her relationship with the father of the child, her education and her race.
Doctors would also be required to provide patients detailed explanations of complications that can happen during abortions and take the patient through an ultrasound so she can see the baby.
Thankfully, the Center for Reproductive Rights obtained a temporary restraining order that will stop the questionnaire law from going into effect this week, and a district court has rejected the ultrasound law.
However, the state has appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court on both accounts.
The future for women in Oklahoma is up in the air.
Opponents and proponents of the law have been protesting, rallying and drawing a lot of attention to the issue.
But both sides are taking the wrong approach.
This is not an abortion rights or anti-abortion issue.
This is an invasion of privacy.
Results from the survey would be posted on a Web site. And although, the women’s names that filled out the surveys would not be posted with the results, how is it beneficial to the public to know the level of education or race of females having abortions?
The government’s job is to serve the public. Posting these answers wouldn’t provide service to anyone, but would provide disservice to a large group of women.
If these laws were to go into effect, they would be the furthest-reaching abortion laws in the country. And Joseph Thai, a professor of law at the University of Oklahoma who specializes in Supreme Court and constitutional law, told the Associated Press if the laws go into play, it’s likely many other states would follow.
Oklahoma Republican Rep. Dan Sullivan told the AP the law’s intent is to understand as much information about those undergoing abortions as possible.
“These are tragic situations for people, and we’re not trying to compound anyone’s emotional state,” he said.
But anyone undergoing an abortion is bound to be emotional. And that’s another scary thing about these laws – they may subject enough emotion to change these fragile women’s minds.
As long as abortions are legal in this country, they should be well-thought-out decisions. A woman should not be placed in a situation where she may change her mind at the drop of a hat because she sees the image of her child.
In most cases, women have abortions because they can’t provide for a child, whether it be emotionally or financially.
And the last thing our economically weak country needs is more people relying on government assistance.
And now for my favorite question on the survey – would having a baby dramatically change your life?
If Oklahoma is seriously asking that question, and not using it as a way to make women feel bad about themselves or re-evaluate their choices, I think they’re the ones who need a survey of their education levels.
Emily Regenold is a senior journalism major from Cincinnati. She is the Scout managing editor.
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