An Oklahoma Lawmaker Makes News – In a Good Way February 9, 2012

An Oklahoma Lawmaker Makes News – In a Good Way

My home state, Oklahoma, has a reputation for producing inept legislators. Last month, Sen. Ralph Shortey tried to ban aborted fetuses from our food (you know, just in case). Rep. Sally Kern declared in 2008 that “no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted for more than, you know, a few decades” — and that’s not even the most bigoted statement of her career. And now the forces of right-wing inanity have brought the Personhood Act to the state senate, which declares that “the life of each human being begins at conception.”
All is not lost, however. Sen. Constance Johnson, a Democrat, tried to add this satirical amendment to the bill.
However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.
Sadly, the Tulsa World does not feel like sharing the joke. This is how they reported on Johnson’s attempted contribution:
Sen. Constance Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, said that while it takes two people to create life, Crain’s measure focuses only on half of that equation.
The “Every Sperm Is Sacred” amendment, along with an earnest one by Sen. Jim Wilson that would force fathers to be financially responsible for their partners for the duration of the pregnancy, did not make it. The rest of the bill passed the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, which means it’s headed to the Senate floor.
If the Senate approves the legislation (which seems unlikely), Gov. Mary Fallin would knowingly invite a costly lawsuit against that state by signing it. It will not become the law of the state, and the farther it goes, the more time it will waste.
It seems that Johnson is mocking both the lack of reason, and the fact that the bill is not serious to begin with (even if the convictions of its supporters are). For this, I applaud her.
(Via Jezebel)
Johnson posted an explanation of her amendment at ‘Comment Is Free’ section of The Guardian:
My amendment seeks to draw attention to the absurdity, duplicity and lack of balance inherent in the policies of this state in regard to women. Oklahoma already incarcerates more women than any other place in the world. Under the latest provisions, a woman in Oklahoma may now face additional criminal charges and potential incarceration for biological functions that produce or, in some cases, destroy eggs or embryos, such as a miscarriage. In vitro fertilization, involving the fertilization outside the womb for implantation into the womb, would also potentially represent a violation of the proposed Personhood statute.

Finally, this amendment seeks to draw humorous attention to the hypocrisy and inconsistency of this proposal – from the Republican perspective of down-sized government and less government intrusion into people’s private affairs.

Thanks for the link, Ewan!
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  • Sware

    I really wish she’d have left the amendment in!  Nonetheless I do join in to applaud her.

  • Best…..Poe…..Ever!!

  • Christoph Burschka

    I’m trying to think of a more ridiculously inane title for any book than “The Stoning of [Me]”. None forthcoming.

  • Anonymous

    She wasn’t the one who removed it. It was not approved by the committee.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Give pre-born persons the right to vote.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    The recent one by Vi Simpson was also pretty good, and her amendment was accepted.

  • Rhea

     “Sen. Constance Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, said that while it takes
    two people to create life, Crain’s measure focuses only on half of that
    equation.”So,lets punish women for every period they have?

  • Saucetin

    I’d like to applaud her too, but one hand is busy. 

  • The author of the amendment has a piece up on the Guardian’s CIF about this:

  • Gunstargreen

    Did Seneator Shortey take the baby eating atheists thing seriously?

  • I don’t like Jim Wilson’s amendment either.

  • Xeon2000

    I regularly contribute to the death of a hundred million sperm (babies) every night. It’s a regular spermocaust.

  • chicago dyke, evolved outlaw

    don’t give them any ideas. this is done in some countries, as well as equally misogynist bullshit designed to turn women in to breeding factories. you know the thuglicans would love to do this if they thought they could get away with it. 

  • When someone tells me life begins at conception, I ask about the following hypothetical situation:  You are in a burning laboratory.  In the room with you is a newborn, healthy infant and a tray of twenty embryos conceived through in vitro fertilization.  You can carry the infant or you can carry the tray, but because tray is to big, you cannot carry both to safety.   Whichever you leave will be destroyed.  Which do you save?

    I rarely get an answer.   Normally I get told, “I don’t participate in hypothetical discussion of moral relativism.”  

    To me, that’s an admission that they would have to concede one as more valuable than the other.

  • T-Rex

    I’ve killed so many potential humans it’s not even funny. Wait, yes it is.

  • Alex

    Wait, Sally Kern seriously wrote a book called “The stoning of Sally Kern”? An incredible douchebag move.

  • Anonymous

     I’ve used this dilemma before too, and actually got one person to admit that they’d choose the baby over the tray (as any non-insane person would, even if pro-life). They conceded that yes they considered the baby more valuable than the tray emotionally, but essentially said that this was an emotional weakness on their part and that in reality they should have saved the tray.

  • Rwlawoffice

    So if life doesn’t begin at conception, when does it begin?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. I added a link in an update.

  • I just finished watching “The Stoning of Soroya M.” on Netflix.  Which makes

    My amendment seeks to draw attention to the absurdity, duplicity and lack of balance inherent in the policies of this state in regard to women.

    especially poignant.

    Literal stoning is the religiously dictated torture and killing of a human being.  Usually a woman.  For someone to equate verbal criticism with stoning?

    I’m just so ready to not be friendly right now. 

  • Demonhype

    Don’t give the conservatives any new ideas for voter fraud!  You know that any law that passed would make all pre-born vote Republican–unless the pre-born individual specifies otherwise out of its own “mouth”, you know, to be “fair”.

  • A few billion years before conception.

  •  Maybe if someone pointed out that this could potentially give a whole new meaning to the term “anchor babies” they’d change their minds…

    Nah.  They’d probably just add an amendment forbidding foreign tourists from having sex while in the state.

  • Ducky

    What is the sound of one hand clapping, grasshopper?

  • Alex

    Especially when said stoning still takes place today in certain parts of the world.

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