TW Shannon: Roll of Government to Control People’s Lives

by Teri McGrath

TW Shannon told me that government has always controlled people and should. I don’t know if he necessarily said that he can make up whatever rules he wants, but I know he said something to a friend of mine in an email that might suggest that.I think Shannon and others will feel that this legislation is an effort to protect lives. They think that voting “No” will mean that they are not interested in protecting innocent children. The underlying assumption here seems to be that women in the state of Oklahoma are so prone to aborting their fetuses, government must intervene. The problem is this legislation will do much more harm than any good it could possibly do–in terms of limiting the number of abortions performed in this state This legislation makes TW Shannon’s daughters and wife the property of the state and will force them to bear children regardless of their circumstances.The implications of this bill are horrifying. I think we should write letters about it, but I think the first thing we must do is ensure that everyone, including Shannon and all of our representatives, know exactly what they’re voting on. For some people the question this bill seems to pose is, “Do you love babies ?”We need to make sure that the questions they’re really answering when they vote on this bill are questions like, “Should women be forced to bear children?” “Is it the job of government to monitor all pregnancies?” “Is it the roll of government to control people lives?”

No. No is the answer to all of those questions. NO.

The bill is not about abortion at all. We’re not going to ban or end abortion. If this legislation passes, it will be challenged in the courts, and it will be defeated. Is Oklahoma willing to spend a shit load of money on what amounts to political theatre? Is it in the best interest of our elected officials to participate in such theatre? I don’t think so. I think we’re going to start getting rid of all the puppets in our state legislatures really quickly. They’re going to have to start showing themselves to be useful, or they’re going to be out of their jobs.

I will believe that our leaders are interested in working for the people of this state when I see them producing legislation that promotes sex education and safe sex practices and when I see them promoting programs that protect and help pregnant women and families. Right now, they seem mostly focused on trying to control us.

I’m going to get a hold of a petition, or draft one if I can’t find one. And I’m going to write personal letters to each of our reps. I wonder if we could make this a letter to TW Shannon–an open letter. And send that in?


Women Deserve Better

Sonya Renee at the Individual World Poetry Slam Finals 2006. Charlotte, NC. Check out more work at


One thought on “TW Shannon: Roll of Government to Control People’s Lives

  1. Open Letter to the Oklahoma Elected Public Servants

    As a life long Oklahoma resident I must register my disagreement – though it will not be taken seriously – with the direction the State Government is headed in.

    To begin the dismantling of years of progress in the area of women’s rights you have brought discredit and embarrassment to my home state.

    The current “person-hood” measure being considered is not an advancement in thinking but rather a regression toward a dark and distant past. To claim some sort of moral ground as justification for such a backward move is disingenuous.

    In the words of Abraham Lincoln –“No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.” I’ve been informed that it is the considered opinion of most if not all members of the Oklahoma government that, due to the fact that it’s members were all legally and duly elected to the office they hold, they are rightfully positioned to govern as they see fit.. That is not true. What it is, has been called a Tyranny of the Majority. History records the eventual results of any tyranny when the ruled over minority reaches a point of frustration greater than they can abide.

    T.W. Shannon arrogantly told one of my female colleagues that he has the right to make up what ever rules he sees fit; to decide on behalf of the people what he sees as appropriate – without input from his constituents on specific issues because he was elected to do be that person who decides on what is right or wrong.

    He is wrong. He is misogynistic and biased on issues concerning women’s rights. The individual civil rights of citizens of the United States are not subject to restriction by law or regulation, and to use “religious convictions” as an excuse to attempt to restrict a woman’s civil rights should be seen for what it is – misogyny masquerading as religiosity and a thinly veiled attempt by our so called “representatives” to override the views of those constituents they claim to represent.

    I single Shannon out because he is from my area, as is Don Barrington, Don Armes and Ann Coody . T.W. Shannon has shown himself the most egregiously arrogant when it comes to women’s rights.

    T.W. Shannon needs to know that there are those within his constituency that have eyes on him and any other members of State Government that feel they know what is best for individual Oklahoma residents – especially those misogynists currently seeking to dismantle women’s civil and individual rights and freedoms.

    Oklahoma is not the backward uneducated back water sluice that the GOP has presented to the rest of the Nation. It, like the Nation, is a governance of the people, by the people, for the people. We vote!

    Don Nelson
    Lawton, Oklahoma

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