Metro Library System employees prohibited from saying A-word…

Oklahoma’s quest to become a real-life Gilead is coming along nicely.

Earlier this week, a Metro Library System employee shared a now-deleted screenshot to Reddit of an email that was sent to staff concerning “abortion inquiries.”

According to the library’s legal department, librarians should avoid using the word “abortion” and no longer aid people in looking for information on the topic, otherwise, they may lose their job, face a $10,000 fine and even go to jail!

Check out this insanity:

I’m not a 1st Amendment Auditor or anything like that, but doesn’t this violate the First Amendment? For example, say some religious zealot comes in trying to bait a librarian into saying the A-word, shouldn’t a librarian have the freedom to say something like “I really wish your mom would have got an abortion?”

Also, it’s been a minute since I’ve been to a library, but I’m pretty sure they have a wide variety of novels, books, and anthologies on hand that cover illegal activities like theft, murder and drug use. Why does abortion get it’s own special “Don’t say that word” category? Is there some stupid law we don’t know about?

Pretty much.

Oklahoma is like Texas and has that stupid law on the books that lets individuals sue those they believe may have obtained an abortion, or assisted someone in obtaining the procedure. According to that logic, I guess you can sue a librarian who assists a woman in looking up “abortion” via the Dewey Decimal System, or simply helps them find Hemmingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants.”

As a result, I’d advise all MLS employees to use their own slang terms when referencing abortion, just to be safe.

“Yes, I need help finding a book about abortion?”

“Oh, you mean a “Fetus Deletus?” Right this way…”

After the email made the rounds on Reddit, Vice jumped on the story. According to them, the Metro Library System issued updated guidance on the topic yesterday:

In a memo emailed to library staff Thursday morning, MLS executive director Larry White wrote that the guidance on abortion was sent in response to an initial review by the library system’s legal team.

The updated guidance states that library workers should “provide factual information” about what abortion is and the state and federal laws surrounding it, but “should not offer opinions surrounding the law” or “actively assist anyone in breaking the laws of Oklahoma.” The memo further states that MLS is “tightening our existing technology security and record keeping” to provide better anonymity for those seeking abortion information.

“This guidance is being provided because of our responsibility to protect MLS from the risk of civil liability, which we do for all legal matters,” White wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Motherboard. “This guidance is being balanced by our responsibilities to provide information services to our community, to comply with the existing laws of this state, support of the 1st Amendment, our Freedom to Read statements, and our professional ethics in this process.”

Yep, only provide “factual” information about abortion, librarians. You know, like that it should be a safe and legal medical procedure, and that whether or not to get one is a private medical decision that should be made by a woman.

Although it may get you sued or sent to jail, that is a fact.

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24 Responses

  1. Trump lost. Fact.

    1. The 2020 election? Yep, he lost that, but he didn’t need to win, placing 3 Supreme Court justices on the bench has effectively made him president for the next 20 years or so. I hope all those Democrats in swing states that just couldn’t stomach voting for Hillary in 2016 feel good for that principled stand against centrism, hopefully that warm fuzzy you felt for a few seconds after voting was worth having an ultra right wing Supreme Court controlling our personal lives.

      1. I would suggest a country that would allow ANYONE, in ANY CAPACITY, to have a job FOR LIFE needs to revise its rules.

        There is nothing sensible about allowing Supreme Court justices, or anyone else, to serve for life. They should be strictly term-limited, and the number of justices on the court should be fixed.

        I’d even suggest a drawing to determine the length of a justice’s term. He or she gets appointed, then the drawing is held, rather like a lottery: the justice will serve from between 1 – 8 years, depending on which number he or she draws. But no more than 8 years, then out.

        I have spoken. So let it be written, so let it be done.

      2. but Hilary isn’t progressive enough for me, think I’ll waste my vote on loser Jill Stein

        1. Yeah, she’s so progressive, she has dinner with Michael Flynn and Vladimir Putin.

          God, the idiots who vote for her.

          1. No, she’s not progressive, but like it or not, the choice was between her or Donald Trump. I specified people in swing states, people can afford to vote their conscience in OK, if they live in a swing state, I think they should be more pragmatic. At the end of the day, it’s their vote, and they can stay home, throw it away on a third party or write in vote if they want, but that’s how we got an ultra right wing super majority on the Supreme Court.

  2. If anyone needs a tax write off, I’m starting a 501c that does research on how to reanimate aborted fetuses for Jesus. The money will actually be used to pay of my Patek collection and the rest will go directly into (insert political party pac that is currently giving biggest tax breaks to corporations and super-rich here).

    1. You bring up a good point, medical research using human fetal tissue has benefited so many people and now could be jeopardized.

      1. But what’s in it for me and mine?

        1. You get to feel better by pretending to save babies.

  3. I’m disappointed. I expected the powers in charge to have employees that mentioned the word wear a giant SCARLET “A”.

  4. Timothy Mcveigh: I’d like a book about abortion, can you help me out?
    MLS employee: Sir, you are way out of line! The answer is No!
    Timothy Mcveigh: Ok, sorry. I’d like a copy of the Anarchist Cookbook that lays out how to make bombs and destroy government buildings. Can you help out? MLS employee: Yes sir, right this way.

  5. There are, evidently, a lot of words “we” “aren’t allowed” to say.

    They get disguised with quaint code-words which stand in for the “real” word, which, if uttered, can cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and/or chronic diarrhea. But our brains fill in the blank anyhow, translating the “forbidden” word into its actual form, thereby defeating the purpose….unless the purpose is to make us all behave like a bunch of squeamish pussies, that is.

    Well. At least I didn’t drop “the F-bomb” or quote any Mark Twain, especially the part where Huck refers to Jim as an “N-word.”

  6. Haven’t “theft, murder, and drugs” become alternative facts? Charlie Mansion did life for directing an armed mini mob that ended up committing murder. So far Trump is proving those rules no longer apply. Theft? It’s perfectly ok to steal Federal COVID funds in Oklahoma. Drugs? I’d bet there are still some poor souls rotting in prison somewhere for selling a lb. of ditch weed while the makers of Oxy will walk with at least a billion stashed somewhere. Hell, we’ve got a couple million dollars of drugs stashed somewhere in the state our businessman governor bought that’s too worthless to even be considered illegal! No more than outdated rabbit suppositories.
    In stitt, trump and the abortion overlords we are witnessing, hopefully, the end times of “Trickle Down Economic Theory” where the masses, after 40+ years of dumbing down, finally wake up to the monster we have allowed to roam the Nation, propaganda be damned, and kill it the only way the masses can with probably the last legitimate chance we will have…….. Vote them out.

  7. I though the a-word was analsex.

  8. And the dumbasses wonder why Panasonic went to Kansas.

  9. Don’t say “A.” Don’t say Gay. Don’t suggest the existence of systemic racism. Evolution is only your God-denying opinion because the Bible says it all began with Adam and Eve in that garden with the talking snake. Men are men and women are women, period. “Woke” is a horrible disease, or something.

    And “conservatives” say that progressives are snowflakes. Don’t they have that reversed?

    About the 1st Amendment: it only says that the GOVERNMENT can’t prohibit or punish free speech. But if your state government allows any private party to sue the crap out of you for saying something that the government doesn’t like, that’s as American as apple pie. Freedom!

  10. Sweet, I’m suing Walmart for selling coat hangers and aspirin. I plan on filing suit on each individual location so that’s 133 stores at $10,000 each. I’m going to feel a little bad for each associate I send to jail but then again thats one less welfare recipient.

    1. Now you’re thinking, we didn’t get this rich and powerful by NOT fucking over the poorest and most vulnerable. Trickle up!

  11. A is for asshat, the adjective which best describes Stitt.

  12. “Yeah let’s just ban what we don’t like.” Brought to you by the party of small govt. What’s next? Thought police?

  13. I wrote a silly piece for another publication that wasn’t remotely as good as the remarks above so I won’t repeat them on TLO. However, I can’t pass up the chance to weigh in here as our country spins more crazily everyday with even The Supremes, all well educated and otherwise distinguished lawyers, proving at heart they are just partisan hacks who know how they got appointed and obviously little else. To turn about 7500 state legislators loose with their Roe V. Wade opinion is like asking Donald Trump to write a thesis about the meaning of The United States Constitution. He would wake up everyday with a different opinion, version, guess, comment, conclusion and many other thoughts on the subject. This is a helluva way to run the rules of engagement in our country. Precedent is not hard to understand by my buddies at Ruby’s Cafe in Purcell. Why is the concept so challenging for at least five of these Harvard/Yale dandies? Because in this case they don’t want it to apply, simple as that, regardless of the damage it is doing to so many of our citizens. So now, when the legislature returns in February 2023, such wizards as Representative Justin Humphrey (R) Lane will have new opportunities to develop thoughtful, insightful and helpful new guidelines for the “hosts” in Oklahoma which as we all know is his crass and cruel description of pregnant women. What a guy. What a state. What a nation. What a nightmare.

  14. So instead of secret shoppers there are going to be secret library patrons? Are taxpayers going to end up paying for that silliness? Why can’t our library system stay out of politics and focus on getting books?

    1. Just be glad they haven’t started burning them yet.

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