Oklahoma Passes Extreme Vigilante Abortion Ban, Nation’s Most Restrictive Yet: ‘A Reversal of History Right In Front of Our Eyes’

On Thursday, May 19, the Oklahoma legislature passed a total ban on abortion, authorizing private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who assists someone obtaining an abortion. The law applies from the moment of fertilization.

“This is not one more ban. This is a first,” said Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains. “Today’s ban—which encourages bounty hunters to sue their neighbors or strangers for accessing abortion care at any stage of pregnancy—is a reversal of history happening in front of our eyes. Once signed, abortion will be illegal in Oklahoma. Full stop.”

The Political Religions That Brought Down Roe

The Catholic Church has been the principal religious opponent to advances in birth control and abortion rights and access. But to achieve its goals, it needed allies in its long-term campaign of resistance. It took some time, but they found them. 

How conservative Christianity has been systematically waging a half-century war on Roe v. Wade will be the stuff of books and graduate theses. Here are some of the major themes that that they will contain.  

White Masculinity and the Buffalo Massacre

Most mainstream coverage about the horrific massacre in Buffalo has focused, quite rightly, on racism. But there is more to the story. The killer is not just a young white person. He is a young white man. For us to have any hope of preventing future such incidents, and effectively countering the belief systems and social forces that produced him and so many others, we need to understand the complex intersections of race and gender that lie at the heart of these ongoing tragedies.

As our fragile democracy faces growing threats from exactly the sort of right-wing terrorism on display last weekend in Buffalo, we ignore this gendered element at our peril.

Ms. Relaunches Abortion Petition That ‘Changed Abortion Rights Movement’

In 1972, when abortion was still illegal throughout most of the country, 53 well-known U.S. women courageously declared “We Have Had Abortions” in the pages of the preview issue of Ms. magazine. The Washington Post credited the petition with the “start of a powerful strategy in the U.S. abortion rights movement: ending the secrecy that had kept many women out of the fight.”

The next year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortion was a fundamental right protected by the U.S. Constitution. This year, the Supreme Court appears poised to reverse this position. In this perilous time, Ms. is relaunching the petition—with the encouragement and support of some of the original 1972 signers. This year alone, the petition has garnered almost 7,000 signatories.

Our Favorite Signs From the Nationwide ‘Bans Off’ Marches

Over 1 million protesters gathered for marches across the country on Saturday to attend a national day of action in support of abortion and reproductive rights. Themed ‘Bans Off Our Bodies,’ the mobilization was a direct response to two cataclysmic events in the world of abortion: a leaked draft opinion signaling the Supreme Court’s majority decision to overturn the 50-year precedent of Roe v. Wade; and Senate Republicans’ opposition to a bill that would codify the right to an abortion across the U.S.

When the Supreme Court’s final decision is issued before the end of the term (likely in June), it will represent the biggest blow to women’s constitutional rights in history. The anger, indignation and shock felt in America right now has reached a new peak—and it was on full display this weekend.