The GOP War on Women’s Health has become so out of control that stories break daily about proposed state laws that do everything from force women to have ultrasounds before having abortions to allow empolyers to withhold birth control coverage to women using contraception for anything that’s not “medically necessary.” But a proposed Kansas law takes all of that a step further by allowing doctors to directly lie to patients about the potential health of their children.
The proposed bill would make it legal for a healthcare provider to lie about or withhold the results from ultrasounds, amnios, blood tests, and cvs tests. These procedures screen for birth defects and genetic conditions that might lead women to the tough decision of terminating a pregnancy (or of course, might just help her prepare for the birth of a special needs child). Similar laws are in the pipeline in Oklahoma and Arizona, with the official GOP logic supporting a provider’s right to shield him or herself from future malpractice suits if a child is in fact born with a defect that the technician could have prevented by giving a woman a reason to have an abortion. None of this makes good sense.
Am I the only one more frightened by this bill than by any of the others? Conservative forces claim that they are only trying to protect women from bad health decisions by instituting all of these rules and regulations, and that has become commonplace. It’s also become the norm for them to create obstacles around securing reproductive health services…no sex education, no birth control, shame on you if you get pregnant, no abortion, no social services to help care for your child once you have one…I totally get it (and the nonsense of it). But the purpose of pre-natal testing is not to help women find reasons to have abortions, it’s to help families make the best decisions possible. Many families find out that a baby with health problems is on its way, prepare themselves with the knowledge and extra resources that they’ll need, and welcome that new family into the world with open arms. Why should the right of those families to be as prepared as possible be trumped by lawmaker objection to abortion?