It's bad enough when the government requires institutions to post political propaganda. Now it wants them to pay for it, too.
A law passed last summer in Oklahoma requires licensed bathroom facilities open to the public to post signs containing anti-abortion messages. What the law did not include was funding to purchase and provide the signs businesses and other public institutions will need in order to be in compliance.
The "Humanity of the Unborn Child Act" requires all facilities licensed by the state department of health with restrooms available to the public to post a sign containing the following words by January 2018:
There are many public and private agencies willing and able to help you carry your child to term and assist you and your child after your child is born, whether you choose to keep your child or to place him or her for adoption. The State of Oklahoma strongly urges you to contact them if you are pregnant.
Big Brother is watching and wants your baby.
While the law says it's up to the department of health to provide the signs, it budgets no funds for them, creating confusion as to whether or not affected institutions need to purchase them to be in compliance. The Associated Press estimates the costs of giving signs to every required location in the state to be about $2.3 million.
Because the state department of health is responsible for licensing restaurants, every hotel, motel, and restaurant in the state, as well as many other establishments regulated by the department, has to put the signs up. This didn't make any sense to Jim Hooper, president of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association, who spoke out against the law to the AP.
"It's just another mandate on small businesses," Hooper said. "It's not just restaurants. It includes hospitals, nursing homes. It just doesn't make any sense."
The unfunded sign mandate is getting the most attention, but it's worth noting that the rest of the law is pretty bad too, creating a system for government-funded anti-abortion propaganda. Other provisions in the law include:
- Develop educational materials and public service announcements "for the purpose of achieving an abortion-free society."
- Creating an anti-abortion curriculum to be distributed to local school boards.
- Include information on getting pre-natal care, but forbidding referrals to facilities that also provide abortions.
- "Include no component of human sexuality education"
Guess no one needs to donate to anti-abortion activist groups anymore. Oklahoma taxpayers are picking up the tab.