Updated (Friday): Wonders never cease.
You really have to stand in awe of the huge brass balls on lawmakers in Oklahoma. In a move sure to get them put over a judge's knee and spanked until they can't sit for a year, they just passed a measure that would effectively ban abortion outright in their state. By a vote of 33-12, lawmakers have oh-so-cleverly moved to criminalize not getting an abortion but providing one, pushing through a bill that would make it a felony for doctors to perform abortions and would restrict any physician who violates the law from getting or renewing his or her medical license. The aim of the law, as you might have guessed, is to eventually overturn Roe v. Wade so that Jesus can stop crying over all the little babies.
Now if you're asking yourself how the fuck they can get away with something like this, well, they can't and they almost certainly won't -- and that more than pretty much anything else is the real kicker here. The bill will now go to Governor Mary Fallin where she can reject it and save her state some face and an immediate trip to court, or she can sign it and, as a Republican, fulfill the bill's destiny as a culture war shot across the bow designed to do nothing more than pander to Oklahoma lawmakers' Angry Christian Yokel constituency.
The bill, the most sweeping of its kind, is unquestionably going to be ruled unconstitutional, but that's par for the course given that Oklahoma puts one of these proposals on the table just about every year and they never seem to take effect. As the AP reports, eight anti-abortion measures proposed by Oklahoma have been challenged in court in the last five years alone. They include a 2013 case the Supreme Court declined to hear that would have required a woman to view an ultrasound of her fetus before getting an abortion, a law struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court that would have banned drug-induced abortions, and a case pending over a law that aims to force abortion providers to have hospital privileges to practice.
It's worth noting, though, that this is how our union's most ass-backward states fight federal laws they simply don't agree with: they find ways not to overturn them outright but to simply chip away at them until logistically the 100% legal action they disapprove of becomes impossible for anyone to engage in. This is what Texas, the "Big Embarrassment State," has done with abortion. It can't overturn Roe v. Wade so it simply puts in place a series of labyrinthine laws and regulations that abortion clinics can't possibly comply with -- all in an effort to shut them down.
This is how Republicans have operated for years. When they can't get their way through proper channels, they don't simply accept defeat graciously and go home. They refuse to take no for an answer and so they either keep coming back and trying to wear down their opponents or they find creative loopholes and workarounds to ultimately get what they want. This is why we've never heard the end of the battle over Roe v. Wade, or why the GOP has voted more than 60 times to repeal Obamacare, or why it's already becoming clear Republicans will never stop working to overturn same-sex marriage. They do not accept that they can't have their way.
If we're lucky, Governor Fallin will have enough sense in her head to shoot this thing down before it gets her state served. But since, again, this is all about pandering to people who never get off their knees in praise, don't count on it. Their blind, relentless outrage over fetuses is obviously far more important than any real problems facing Oklahoma.