Regardless of where one stands on the hotly contested issue of abortion, civility, decency and common sense must guide the process. Civility and decency obligate legislators to consider any unintended consequences of bills they present. Common sense dictates that bills must be studied before they're introduced and that consulting with medical science must be a prerequisite for introducing a health-related bill.
The Oklahoma State Medical Association and Oklahoma Osteopathic Association are merely a phone call away for any legislator who wishes to better the lives of Oklahomans. Consulting with a constitutional lawyer should also be a prerequisite for the introduction of sensitive bills to avoid the waste of resources and the ill will produced by bills with little or no legal substance.
Rather than practice medicine without a license or ignore the law, elected officials would serve the state better by consulting with the medical and legal professions when sensitive medical and legal issues are at stake, especially abortion. They owe it to their constituents.
Reshef practices medicine in Oklahoma City and is medical director at the Integris Bennett Fertility Institute.