To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Saturday, September 30, 2023


Back To The Dark Ages



I watched with interest the recent presidential debates in New Hampshire as candidates pandered to extreme right-wingers.

First, Mitt Romney dodged questions about a ban on contraception but reaffirmed his commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade. Then Rick Santorum declared that states should be able to outlaw contraception!

Finally, most of presidential candidates vowed to prevent Planned Parenthood from providing health care to the millions of women which is mainly preventive in nature: birth control and testing plus treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Equally bad, here in Oklahoma, draconian anti-woman legislation, HB 2780, passed the Oklahoma Legislature in April 2010, and became law.

That law mandates that a woman or girl seeking an abortion must have an ultrasound within an hour of the procedure. Specifically, the law requires that an instrument, called a transducer, be inserted in the vagina if that method produces the best ultrasound image. That image must then be described in detail, even by an unwilling doctor to an unwilling patient.

Gov. Brad Henry vetoed the bill and declared that “a citizen forced to undergo any medical procedure against his or her will … amounts to an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.”

The Legislature overrode the governor’s veto but the law has not gone into effect because of a court challenge. The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights is helping challenge the ultrasound law in Oklahoma County court.

If these types of laws stand, it’s back to the Dark Ages for women and physicians who treat them.

Wanda Jo Stapleton is a former Democratic state representative from Oklahoma City and a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer



  1. Thank You Wanda Jo, for reminding us why Roe V. Wade passed in the first place — to protect the privacy and rights of women.

    Roe v. Wade was enacted to protect a doctor’s relationship with his/her female patient. To keep abusive family members, ex-boyfriends, ministers, legislators and other irrelevant people OUT of the intimate, private discussions between a woman and her doctor.

    Women are not second rate citizens with fewer rights than their male counterparts. Women can and do think for themselves. They don’t need big government, religious leaders, legislators or anyone else looking over their shoulder during discussions regarding their health.

    • Thanks, Parrothead. The 38th anniversary of Roe v Wade occurs on Sunday, January 22.

      Also the court-challenged Oklahoma law requiring a transducer up the vagina is nothing more than rape by instrumentation disguised as a medical procedure.

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.