Apparently, Republicans really don’t like women having a lot of choices over their own bodies. Oklahoma state legislators just filed around a dozen bills targeting abortion access—including at least one “spousal consent” bill that is unconstitutional. And creepy.
House Bill 1441, sponsored by freshman Rep. Justin Humphrey, requires that abortions will need “the written informed consent of the father of the fetus.” Women must name the father, in writing (which is ridiculous, because guess what? Not their choice. I didn’t tell the man who raped me that I was pregnant, for instance), and fathers are allowed to demand a paternity test if they don’t believe they are the parent. What country is this, again?
The only exceptions to this rule, should it actually pass, are if the father is dead (and the woman signs a notarized affidavit that makes it clear this is the case), the woman needs an abortion because her life is in danger, or if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. Of course, it’s hard to “prove” rape actually occurred, so I don’t even want to think about how they will make a woman prove it.
Rewire notes that spousal consent bills have been becoming more common as of late, but in the 1976 case Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth, the Supreme Court ruled that requiring parental or spousal consent for abortions is unconstitutional. Bonyen Lee-Gilmore, Director of Communications at Planned Parenthood Great Plains, stated how archaic this bill is:
“In no other area of law are competent adults required to seek permission from others in order to receive their medical care. We’re seeing this because the vocal minority and the extremist lawmakers continue to attempt to shame and stigmatize patients who are exercising their constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion.
It’s really important to note that this bill does nothing, and says nothing, about preventing unintended pregnancies. If the true desire is to stop abortion from happening, then [legislators] need to be focusing their efforts on access and prevention.”
This is unconstitutional. Women are not children–and should not be treated as though they can’t make choices for themselves. It may be time to get in touch with your representatives and call/write if you find this unconstitutional here.