What they've decided to do is to pass a law stating that any woman getting an abortion in Oklahoma will have her personal information posted on line. (The earliest reports were that this website was going to be named ShameOnYouWhore.com - that name has since been abandoned.) The Center for Reproductive Rights has already mounted the first legal challenge.
This law will go into effect on the first of November - ironically, on the same date as the founding of the first medical school for women in America.
Now, the people of Oklahoma have proven themselves to either be idiots or inhuman already; they've reelected business spokesweasel James Inhofe to one branch of Congress or another in every election since 1987.
This is a man who supports the torture of prisoners: he was only one of nine Senators to vote against the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, and when talking about prisoner abuse at Guantanamo, he famously said that he was "more outraged by the outrage than we are by the treatment."
He is, of course, opposed to the concept of climate change, and likes to refer to environmentalists as the Gestapo (because the GOP is almost entirely devoid of imagination, and so they have to refer to anybody who disagrees with them as Nazis - they can't help themselves). He also seems to believe that global warming is a conspiracy started by the Weather Channel to gain viewers. (After all, they're such a powerful force in the media...)
Fascinatingly enough, Inhofe is on record saying that the EPA should just be an outlet for the president's environmental beliefs:
It is my view that, regardless of Administration, the President acting through the entire executive branch is fully entitled to express his policy judgments to the EPA Administrator, and to expect his subordinate to carry out the judgment of what the law requires and permits. It can be argued that the "unitary Executive concept" promotes more effective rulemaking by bringing a broader perspective to bear on important regulatory decisions...Unless, of course, that president happens to be a Democrat, in which case the EPA's "process of determining endangerment appears to be marred by bias and, to some extent, political manipulation." (To be fair, it is always possible that the Senator is more upset about the President of the United States being black than he is about Obama's political leanings - it's hard to tell with Inhofe.)
Therefore, I consider this debate over censorship within the Administration to be a nonissue.
This is the man who's been the face of Oklahoma politics for the past 30 years.
This latest assault on a woman's right to privacy, coming just two months after a state court struck down their last attempt to limit abortions, will cost $281,285 to put into place, and $256,285 each subsequent year, plus, of course, the cost of enforcing of the law. Certainly an excellent use of Oklahoma's money in a recession.
Among other information that will be posted on the internet, the first eight questions that are required by Oklahoma law to be disclosed are:
1. The date of the abortionNow, the average city or town in Oklahoma has less than 4,500
2. The county in which the abortion was performed
3. The age of the mother
4. Her marital status (married, divorced, separated, widowed, or never married)
5. The race of mother
6. How much education she's had ("specify highest year completed")
7. The state or "foreign country of residence" of the mother
8. The total number of previous pregnancies (including live births, miscarriages and other abortions)
On the other hand, maybe this law is just another type of economic stimulus program. After all, the first time a woman gets identified because of the information on the website, she'll be able to sue the state for millions of dollars in damages.
Then again, it's a strange use of state funds, because if she's smart, she'll use the money to move the hell out of Oklahoma.