Oklahoma Senator wants to make 100% sure we don’t eat aborted fetuses

I think this qualifies as the very definition of a solution in search of a solution.

A Republican state senator from Oklahoma City introduced a bill Tuesday that would ban the use of aborted human fetuses in food, despite conceding that he’s unaware of any company using such a practice.

Freshman Sen. Ralph Shortey said his own Internet research led him to believe such a ban is necessary and prompted him to offer the bill aimed at raising “public awareness” and giving an “ultimatum to companies” that might consider such a policy.

Well, if THE INTERNET told you! Actually, it seems that Shortey is probably talking about a recent anti-choice boycott of Pepsi (which somehow, sadly, flew under our radar) because they’ve worked with a company that developed a taste test technology using stem cells. For a fanatic, I guess it’s just a small jump to baby bits in your burger.

Although this story takes the absurdity (and “ew” factor) to another level, it’s not all that different from many of the anti-choice laws passed last year. Shortey concedes he’s “unaware” of any company actually serving up fetal parts, but that won’t stop him from proposing the law. Make up a problem and try to “fix” it is the anti-choice way, after all.

Similarly, while abortion is a very safe procedure (far safer than childbirth), that doesn’t stop anti-choicers from claiming they’re just worried about women’s safety when they push for TRAP laws that would force clinics to close. Same with mandatory ultrasounds and waiting periods: There’s absolutely no evidence that women get abortions on a whim without taking time to consider the consequence–namely, not being pregnant anymore, which is, ya know, usually the point–but anti-choicers still pretend it’s done for their own good.

If Shortey wants to prove his anti-choice credentials by taking a strong stand against a problem that doesn’t exist, I guess I’m glad he chose one that won’t pass–and wouldn’t actually affect real women’s lives if it did. So you give that ultimatum, Ralph!

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

Read more about Maya

Join the Conversation