What the end of reproductive freedom in Oklahoma — where anything bad about Texas they can make worse — looks like:
Whenever a new patient pulls into the parking lot at the Tulsa Women’s Clinic, Tiffany Taylor rushes to flick on the lights. She turns off her indie folk playlist, looks out at the empty waiting room and prepares to deliver a speech she has recited about a dozen times since the Oklahoma legislature passed a bill last month banning abortions from the moment of fertilization.
“I’m so sorry,” the nurse says to anyone who wanders in, asking about abortion. “But there’s this new law.”
Oklahomalate last month became the first state in the country to successfully outlaw abortion, offering a glimpse of a post-Roe v. Wade America even while the landmark Supreme Court precedent still stands.
Just months ago, Oklahoma’s four abortion clinics were working overtime, scheduling record numbers of appointments as patients from Texas — where abortion has been severely restricted since the fall — streamed across the border. Now the clinics are desolate. Nurses are filing paperwork and watching Netflix. At Trust Women, a clinic in Oklahoma City that used to get 500 calls a day, staff say the phone has stopped ringing.
Oklahoma’s sweeping new law is the latest of several similar abortion bans signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) this year, with Republicans eager to prepare a menu of laws that could take effect no matter how the Supreme Court rules in a highly anticipated decision expected this summer that will determine the fate of abortion rights.
At least the Party of Death is being candid:
The events unfolding in the conservative bastion of Oklahoma reflect a sort of legal nirvana for the antiabortion movement, whose leaders see the potential demise of Roe as a path to shuttering abortion clinics across roughly half of the country. As state Rep. Todd Russ (R), one of the leading antiabortion members in the legislature, put it in a recent interview: “We won the tournament, you might say.”
Whatever you think of the dawn of Gilead, you have to respect this kind of moral seriousity.