Today Mary Fallin, the Governor of Oklahoma, vetoed the bill aiming to revoke licensing from abortionists and make abortion a felony with a one to three year sentence. Yesterday I wrote extensively on this particular bill. That is here. In short, I’m not a big fan, though it is better than many other pro-life regulation bills. In justifying her decision to veto this bill, Fallin stated that the bill was “vague” and “would not withstand a criminal constitutional legal challenge.” She stated that,
“The bill is so ambiguous and so vague that doctors cannot be certain what medical circumstances would be considered necessary to preserve the life of the mother. The absence of any definition, analysis or medical standard renders this exception vague, indefinite and vulnerable to subjective interpretation and application.”
In addition to her concerns about the ambiguity in the bill, she stated that,
“While I consistently have and continue to support a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, this legislation cannot accomplish that re-examination. In fact, the most direct path to a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade is the appointment of a conservative, prolife justice to the United States Supreme Court.”
What are we to make of this?
First, a very pro-life governor vetoed this pro-life bill. As I said, I am no fan of this bill, but it should bother us that the governor that many consider “the most prolife governor in the United States” would veto a bill that clearly lines up with her public image and rhetoric. It should bother Oklahomas, but it also shouldn’t surprise us. Mary Fallin has proven time and time again her utter incompetence, lack of integrity, and her apparent inability to act in accordance with her stated values and positions. Not being a prolifer, but rather an abolitionist, this is no great defeat. But this veto should demonstrate to us how fully given over to foolishness and wickedness the prolife movement is. Not only will Oklahoma prolife politicians kill a morally consistent Bill of Abolition, the chief Oklahoma prolife politician will also kill the regulationist pro life bill. Who needs proaborts when we have these prolifers?
Second, the “life of the mother” loophole was used to justify the killing of this bill. Just last night I was having a conversation with a friend about these exceptions and loopholes. His fear was that the vagueness of these kinds of exceptions would be exploited by the ACLU and other proaborts lawyers in order to legally challenge this bill. Although proaborts may use this sort of tactic at some future time, the only tactic they have used since Roe vs Wade is claiming that any law that severely limits abortion access is “unconstitutional” because it contradicts the Roe vs Wade and Casey vs Planned Parenthood decisions. Using prolife loopholes and exceptions to ignore, kill, and not enforce prolife laws is a tool of prolife politicians. Not proaborts. Although good intentioned and honorable politicians exist, many do not want to rock the boat. They propose, support, and vote for ineffective prolife bills that sound good on the surface but contain debilitating loopholes. Other prolife politicians (sometimes even the same politicians) kill the prolife bill or ignore it (they’re super sad about this of course) and then point to the loopholes as their justification. Sure, some are very sincere and have their good intentions. However, we are being naive if we think that this isn’t a game to many of these career politicians. They are able to appear very concerned for life without risking any political fallout. There’s a lot of talk and nothing changes.
Third, Fallin isn’t far from the truth when she refers to the “vagueness” of this legislation. When she points to the problematice vague language in the “life of the mother” exception, she’s not wrong. Whenever you insert an exception without being abundantly clear about the definitions and parameters of said exception, it could then mean anything at all. This clearly can cause any number of legal and ethical problems in extreme medical emergencies. As I expressed in “Is Oklahoma Abolishing Abortion?: Part 1”, this exception is not necessary and it can be easily corrupted. We must oppose any and all similar exceptions. No doubt that Fallin would have vetoed this bill with or without the exception, but it is fascinating to me that language that is applied to make the bill more publicly defensible is the same language that is used to kill the bill. Prolife politicians handed Mary Fallin the axe she needed to kill their own bill.
Fourth, Fallin pointed out that this legislation cannot bring about a “re-examination” of Roe vs Wade. Again, she’s not wrong. This bill does not directly defy Roe vs Wade, but rather it tries to backdoor the Roe vs Wade decision under the veneer of a state’s right to regulate medical practices. If you desire to topple Roe vs Wade by way of federal courts, one must challenge the decision clearly in order to have much effect.
Lastly, Fallin gives the standard prolife rhetoric on appointing prolife Justices to the United States Supreme Court. Of course I believe we should appoint ethical and wise Justices, but the presumption being made is that the only way to abolish abortion is to first overturn Roe vs Wade by electing a prolife President and then him in turn nominating prolife Justices. Of course this is false, and to be perfectly frank, to rely upon this strategy is an exercise in futility. A quick survey of Justices during the Casey vs Planned Parenthood decision and the Roe vs Wade decision will show that not only Democrat nominated Justices sides in favor of abortion rights, but also Republican nominated Justices sided in favor of abortion rights. Not only is this strategy incredibly difficult (almost a pipedream), this strategy could take decades to implement. In contrast, a strategy rooted in the Doctrine of The Lesser Magistrates and Constitutional Nullification is far more realistic and could be implemented as soon as politicians decide to do so. The United States Federal Government, and specifically the SCOTUS, has no authority to enact unconstitutional and/or unGodly measures upon the States and the people therein. In fact, the Governor of Oklahoma not only has the right to defy Roe vs Wade and the Federal Government, she has a God given obligation to defy unjust and unconstitutional laws and decisions within her duly delegated jurisdiction.
This failed bill and the reasons given for why it was killed is a fascinating case study on the duplicitous nature of many politicians and their compromised measures. Although I do not and did not support this bill (SB 1552), we can still take something from how it was defeated. A prolife Governor killed a prolife bill, prolife exceptions were one justification, and a bowing down to Federal tyranny was the other justification. Please take note of this. What made this bill compromised and “prolife” as opposed to “abolitionist” is one reason given for why it failed. And even if this were a consistent and ethical measure, without a defying of the tyrants in DC, there will be no abolition. We will finally establish justice and protect life in Oklahoma when we stand on principle and when we have the backbone to stand up to the blood soaked black robed oligarchy on the Potomac. While Oklahoma politicians rattle their sabers against federal intervention in Public School bathrooms, we meekly roll over when it comes to the murder of the unborn. It is pathetic and we should be ashamed of ourselves.
Thank you for these articles. Your detailed understanding of the topic, even-handed treatment of the players and their possible motives, and unapologetic honesty about the events and their implications are much needed. We all need to learn better discernment when considering how to do justice and what types of legislation to rally around. We are in many ways only beginning to learn how to do righteousness in this area. These types of well-researched articles that stand on a lot more than mere emotion go a long way toward that end. So, thanks for taking the time to put them out there.
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Thank you, Erika. Sorry about the late reply.
The fear of lawyers just might become the new root of all evil.
It’s certainly one of the roots. I’d say it’s simple fear of man, as opposed to righteous fear of God.