Oklahoma Lawmakers Pass Bill to Effectively Ban All Abortion

This may not be the legislation that eventually leads to a direct challenge to Roe v Wade in front of the Supreme Court, but it's a start.

The Oklahoma state legislature has passed a bill to effectively ban all abortion by making it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion.

The Center for Reproductive Rights says the measure is the first of its kind in the nation. The bill also would restrict any physician who performs an abortion from obtaining or renewing a license to practice medicine in Oklahoma.

With no discussion or debate, the Senate voted 33-12 Thursday for the bill by Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm.

They spent exactly 0 seconds debating whether or not doctors should be stripped of their medial licenses before passing it. To me that seems like something you should at least discuss first, but they evidently didn't think so.

If they can criminalize one medical procedure, what will stop from criminalizing others? What if lawmakers decide they want to criminalize sex reassignment surgery? What kind of chilling effect may this have on doctors who've considered practicing medicine in Oklahoma? Aren't these questions worth discussing?

A handful of Republicans in the state Senate joined Democrats in opposition, but it wasn't enough. The bill will now head to Governor Mary Fallin's desk where she will have to decide if she wants to fight for it in federal court.

If Governor Fallin signs the bill into law, it will be challenged in federal court and the state of Oklahoma will probably lose. What remains to be seen is if the Supreme Court will take that challenge or simply affirm the lower court ruling.

The highest court may not hear a challenge to Roe v Wade in this case, but I expect it will happen eventually. Republican legislatures won't stop passing bills that either ban all abortion or come very close to doing so until they land a direct challenge. It's their long-term goal.

Meanwhile in Oklahoma, their healthcare system is dangerously close to collapsing. I'm sure a bill that threatens the medical licences of doctors will help.