Saturday, May 21, 2016

What part of Roe v. Wade does Mat Staver not grasp?

Mat Staver and Mary Fallin
Friday night Liberty Counsel sent out an email titled “Governor Fallin's Despicable Betrayal.” Mat Staver, leader of the hate group, must think that we are all as stupid as the average religious extremist. According to the email:
Today Governor Mary Fallin vetoed SB 1552 which would allow for the revocation of medical licenses for doctors who perform abortions after viability. The measure has an exception to save the life of the mother. The Oklahoma Senate passed the bill yesterday 33-12 [3 abstained].

SB 1552 was authored by Sen. Nathan Dahm. Yet this legislation was initiated by a local pastor, Paul Blair, with the support and guidance of Liberty Counsel. Mat Staver met with the Attorney General, Governor Fallin and members of the House and the Senate to discuss the proposed bill late last year. The governor approved the bill and gave her assurance she was behind it.
If the state revokes the licenses of physicians who perform abortions then the state is effectively banning abortion. Just how clever do they think that they are? The bill's author, Sen. Dahm, is the owner of a cleaning company. He is a home-schooled Christian who did not attend college. SB 1552 was the brilliant idea of a Christian minister with the assistance of a Christian lawyer who is not only a hate group leader but a known crank and crackpot. Again, just how clever do these people think they are?

The vote in the lower house was more telling: 59-9 in favor; 33 abstained. A third of the chamber abstained. Apparently they were sufficiently sober to realize that this bill was blatantly unconstitutional. I would argue that this bill also insults the Establishment Clause. It seems clear that this is a theocratic Christian initiative.

I hate to call Staver a liar but he has been known to fib from time to time. If Governor Fallin did agree to support this bill (which is quite probable) then apparently she came to her senses. What on earth was Attorney General Scott Pruitt thinking? Then, again, he has been a whack job since he came into office. This is a guy who thinks that the distribution of religious materials to public school students is perfectly constitutional. Just how disengaged from reality are the voters of Oklahoma?

Roe v. Wade (as clarified by Planned Parenthood v. Casey) holds that a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion until fetal viability. Perhaps Staver has a wet dream of being able to argue a new case before the Supreme Court that will overturn Roe v. Wade.  Meanwhile, due to precedence, a federal judge would have been virtually required to issue an injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the new Oklahoma bill.

The email concludes:
"As one who proclaims to be pro-life, her actions run counter to her words," said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. "This is a despicable betrayal of her word and of innocent children whose lives will be cut short because of her cowardly act. I encourage the Oklahoma legislators to veto the governor and Liberty Counsel stands ready to defend this bill," said Staver.
Staver admits that this is tantamount to banning abortion. I only hope that women understand what is at stake in November. Another Republican appointee on the Supreme Court will allow the Court to chip away at Roe denying women control of their own bodies.

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