I’ve always had a hunch that conservative legislators have no idea how female anatomy works. But just this year they passed legislation that made it clear that not only do they have no idea how it works, but they believe it’s a magical process that they can use their imaginations to create.
There is no other explanation for the superficial insane laws trying to redefine what is actually medically true about human reproduction, laws that suggest it’s possible to remove an ectopic pregnancy and somehow get it back into the uterus to be implanted (also not physically possible). stupid) to laws that try to define “pregnancy” as something that begins the moment the egg and sperm meet.
In Oklahoma, lawmakers recently passed HB4327, a law that prohibits all “abortions” from the moment of “fertilization.” I put all of these words in quotation marks because the way Oklahoma legislators use these words is not consistent with the way doctors use these words.
It feels boring having to explain how idiotic this is. I’m not a doctor. I’m just a person who paid attention during science in middle school and later needed to know this stuff to keep track of my own body. According to medical definition, abortion is anything that ends a pregnancy. Pregnancy, by medical definition, is what happens when a fertilized egg implants in the lining of the womb (or, in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, somewhere outside the womb). Therefore, “abortion from the moment of fertilization” is a stupid phrase.
Fertilization is not the beginning of a pregnancy; it precedes him. First, sperm are introduced into the female reproductive system. If the sperm is introduced around the time the woman ovulates, it is possible for a sperm to encounter her egg and fertilize that egg. The egg then becomes a blastocyst, which moves toward the uterus over the course of 5-7 days. If it gets into the uterus, it may or may not lodge in the uterine wall. If this is the case, after a few more days, the presence of pregnancy will produce enough human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to register on the most sensitive pregnancy tests. In other words, there is a period of 6 to 11 days after fertilization when a female body contains a fertilized egg but is not yet “pregnant”. Your body doesn’t even know it contains a fertilized egg. It is medically impossible to determine whether or not the body contains a fertilized egg.
Sperm does not determine the beginning of a pregnancy. implantation does. The most sensitive pregnancy test available cannot tell a person they have a fertilized egg in their body until it has implanted in the uterus and been in that state for days. But under HB4327, any person with a uterus who has had a sexual encounter with someone who produces sperm could Be pregnant between the day of her ovulation and the day of her period in Oklahoma. Any person who can become pregnant is pregnant until proven otherwise.
Additionally, HB4327 is representing any old blastocyst cowboy to file suits against anyone who “assists or encourages” post-fertilization “abortion” like the similarly insane Texas law the Supreme Court enacted last year. Ordinary citizens have the power to sue companies they believe have performed abortions.
This is where I think environmentalists have an opportunity (to use a technical term) to screw Oklahoma.
“If Oklahoma conservatives are genuinely concerned about the fate of blastocysts and embryos, they should be concerned about protecting fertile women from these harmful chemicals.”
Oklahoma law defines abortion as “the act of using, prescribing, administering, procuring, or selling any instrument, medication, drug, or other substance, device, or device for the purpose of terminating a woman’s pregnancy with knowledge that termination may be effected by any of these agents will have a reasonable probability of causing the death of an unborn child.”
One of the more heartless aspects of laws like Oklahoma’s is that they will inevitably place women who have miscarried under additional scrutiny. Miscarriages are incredibly common; approximately one in five famous pregnancies end in miscarriage; the number is likely to be much higher for pregnancies that end before the mother had any idea she was pregnant. Under the new definition of “pregnancy,” any blastocyst that does not make it to the uterine wall represents the “death” of an “unborn” child.
Women who experience miscarriages or infertility are showered with guilt and shame because of their guilt. But the truth is, there are well-established links between environmental factors and an increased risk of miscarriage and infertility. Many of these environmental factors are completely beyond the mother’s control. The law does not say that the abortion must have been performed with the knowledge or consent of the mother. The law instead focuses on the action of the person or persons causing the death of a blastocyst or the termination of a pregnancy.
So here’s my humble suggestion: If Oklahoma lawmakers want to criminalize anyone who jeopardizes the fate of a blastocyst, that means any old surrogate can sue polluters who knowingly release chemicals into the environment that endanger pregnancy or fertility? Can a person who has had repeated miscarriages in Oklahoma sue companies that release chemicals with a known link to miscarriages into the environment? Can we, say, look at areas around manufacturing facilities where chronic infertility is higher than the general population, conclude that the polluters are to blame, and file a lawsuit? I think we should.
Chemicals used in fracking, for example, are linked to an increased risk of miscarriage in the population close to where the practice takes place. If Oklahoma conservatives are genuinely concerned about the fate of blastocysts and embryos, they should be concerned about protecting fertile women from these harmful chemicals. Should concerned citizens sue frackers for knowingly causing miscarriages? I say yes.
Research has also linked air pollution to an increase in miscarriages and stillbirths. Is it time for newly deputy private individuals from across the country to file lawsuits against Oklahoma’s biggest air polluters? Absolutely. The legislator is doing everything to reduce air pollution.
Contaminated drinking water also has a known association with miscarriage and stillbirth. If pro-life lawmakers are serious about protecting the unborn child, they should face a series of lawsuits against companies that contaminate Oklahoma women’s drinking water.
When Oklahoma legislators don’t face environmental polluter lawsuits openly, they are advocating not for continuation of pregnancy but for a reduction in women’s agency. That old joke about conservatives only looking after babies until they’re born doesn’t even apply here; if the conservatives don’t prevent it everything of the possible ways a pregnancy could end – including environmental factors – then they are not concerned with preserving unborn life; They are primarily concerned with eliminating women’s choices.
It’s a troubling time to be an American with female reproductive organs. Before 2022, I had an inkling that most men in positions of power not only had no idea how human reproduction works, but also harbored a deep contempt for women. Now I know that this country is absolutely dead with people like that.
Why not use their own laws against them? Why not use laws designed to “protect” babies to actually go after organizations responsible for terminating wanted pregnancies? If America’s on the highway to hell, at least let’s sing along on the bus.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/lets-sue-big-polluters-under-oklahomas-wacko-abortion-law?source=articles&via=rss Let’s sue big polluters under Oklahoma’s crazy abortion law