Anita Fream, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma, has one of the tougher jobs. Her state is down to a handful of doctors who'll perform an abortion. The state legislature just overrode a veto to pass a pair of draconian laws with new hurdles for women, and it's considering others. Last night on the show, she told Rachel Maddow that the aim of abortion foes is to make the service functionally illegal.
From the transcript:
Fream: I do think that is the effect and it is very clear that is the ultimate goal. That is not a secret. That is a strategy that's talked
about fairly openly.
Maddow: How many abortion providers are still operating in Oklahoma? And I guess, what is the morale of those health care providers right now given this environment?
Fream: I think there are about three. I may be missing one in there.
Fream, cnt'd: Morale varies. We have good relationships with our local provider who is a wonderful person. But, you know, it's tough. Every time one of these new laws goes into place, it makes it harder to provide the procedure and makes their legal risk greater and restricts what kinds of medical decisions they can make, which is something I assume no doctor wants to have to deal with.
Maddow: In terms of Oklahoma in the broader context of what is happening with abortion rights in this country, a lot of people who are pro-choice are looking at what's happening in Oklahoma, in Nebraska and some other states that have considered very restrictive measures recently. There seems to be a flurry of them recently. They're wondering if national assistance, national health speaking out about these matters helps or hurts, whether or not people addressing these issues nationally seems like carpetbaggers to those of you, for example, in Oklahoma or whether or not, at this point, people who are pro-choice in Oklahoma want national help.
Fream: The need for national help is definitely here. We need everyone speaking out no matter where they are from. I know what you mean about the carpetbagger issue. And I suppose that probably is an issue at times. But we need the voices worse. We need people to speak out.