There are some things you can depend on. One of things is what I call the Mississippi Correlation — states with the strictest abortion laws also have the highest infant mortality rates. The same legislators who stay up all night worrying about the fates of frozen blastocysts can tolerate the unnecessary deaths of infants. (See also “Haley Barbour, Baby Killer.”)
Though other states have passed similar measures requiring women to have ultrasounds, Oklahoma’s law goes further, mandating that a doctor or technician set up the monitor so the woman can see it and describe the heart, limbs and organs of the fetus. No exceptions are made for rape and incest victims.
A second measure passed into law on Tuesday prevents women who have had a disabled baby from suing a doctor for withholding information about birth defects while the child was in the womb.
Oklahoma fulfill’s the Mississippi Correlation nicely. Oklahoma’s infant mortality rate has been stuck at 8.0 for the past few years. The infant mortality rate for the U.S. overall in 2009 was 6.22 (CIA World Factbook).
According to the Commonweal Fund, Oklahoma ranks 39th out of 51 (the 50 states plus the District of Columbia) in infant mortality. Oklahoma also has the honor of ranking #50 in quality of health care its citizens receive (#51 is — wait for it — Mississippi. Who else?).
But never fear; last year Oklahoma took direct action to improve its state’s shoddy health care record by passing — wait for it — tort reform. So now Oklahomans not only get substandard health care; it’s now more difficult for them to sue for malpractice. Way to go, Oklahoma! As the song says,
“We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!”
That makes you something like serfs, yes? See also John Cole.
Update: For some better news, see “‘Face’ Time: Men Convicted Of Blocking Abortion Clinic Access” at Jezebel, where I also found this video: