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!

Atlanta, GA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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screenshot of ship from Vessel

Watch the new doc on one doctor’s quest to offer safe abortion where it’s illegal

The new documentary Vessel tells the story of Women on Waves, founded by Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts who sailed the world in an “abortion ship,” offering off-shore medical abortions in the international waters surrounding countries where abortion is outlawed. Her project eventually morphed into Women on Web, which does great, life-saving work by sending abortion pills by mail to people lacking legal access. The film has opened in NYC, and is now available for streaming on iTunes.

Also, be sure to check out this interview with director/producer Diana Whitten on the Community site. As she notes, the story, unfortunately, holds particular relevance in the US today. “Due to recent legislative attacks on reproductive healthcare, the situation for U.S. women in many ...

The new documentary Vessel tells the story of Women on Waves, founded by Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts who sailed the world in an “abortion ship,” offering off-shore medical abortions in the international waters surrounding countries where abortion is ...