In other words, doctors can intentionally keep critical health information from pregnant women and can’t be sued for it. According to the Arizona Capitol Times, “the bill’s sponsor is Republican Nancy Barto of Phoenix. She says allowing the medical malpractice lawsuits endorses the idea that if a child is born with a disability, someone is to blame.” So Republicans are banning lawsuits against doctors who keep information from pregnant women so as to prevent them from choosing to have an abortion.
This bill is actually more disturbing than the Republicans seem to realize. Giving doctors such a free pass risks the lives of both the expectant mother and the fetus she carries. Prenatal care isn’t just for discovering birth defects and disabilities. It is also for discovering life threatening issues such as an ectopic pregnancy which often requires an abortion to save the life of the mother. With rare exceptions, ectopic pregnancies are not viable anyway, but Republicans are allowing anti-abortion doctors to keep life threatening information from pregnant women all because they are obsessed with stopping any and all abortions. Women may not know they have a life threatening condition until they die on the emergency room table. And the doctor couldn’t be sued.
This is an egregious bill that will lead to higher mortality rates for infants and mothers. Doctors should be held accountable for not disclosing information learned from prenatal examinations. Pregnant women have the right to know if their future child is going to have a disability or if the pregnancy may require an induced abortion to save their lives. Any decision that is made as a result of the information is the mothers own. Doctors should not be allowed to make decisions for pregnant women as a way to prevent abortions. Women have the right to make their own health decisions and hiding critical information is irresponsible, unconscionable, and risks lives. In the end, Republicans are only putting more lives in jeopardy. They might as well call this the ‘let women die’ bill.
Kansas lawmakers consider sweeping abortion changes
(TOPEKA, Kan.) — The topic of abortion comes up during every legislative session. This year, Kansas lawmakers are considering what some say is the most sweeping anti-abortion bill in the country.
House Bill 2598 would, among other things:
- Exempt doctors from malpractice suits for withholding information to prevent an abortion;
- Eliminate tax credits for abortion providers;
- Eliminate tax deductions for the purchase of abortion-related health insurance;
- Require women be told about scientifically questionable link between abortion and breast cancer;
- Require women to hear the fetal heartbeat before a procedure.
The bill frees a doctor from a malpractice lawsuit if the woman claims the physician withheld information about birth defects in order to prevent an abortion. Also, a woman cannot sue for pregnancy-related health problems that result from medical information being withheld.
Another provision in the 69-page bill bans state employees from performing abortions. This would impact residents at the University of Kansas Medical Center, as they are the only state employees who perform abortions.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires OB-GYN residents undergo abortion training. If the bill becomes law , UKMC would likely lose its accreditation.
Lawmakers say they are working to change this particular provision. Medical residents can already opt out of the training on moral and religious grounds.
Click here to read the bill. The bill eliminates various tax credits and deductions. There is no tax exemption for women seeking an abortion because of rape, incest or medical problems including ending an ectopic pregnancy or removing a fetus following a miscarriage.
Other states have similiar laws, but none were passed in a big as large as the one under consideration by the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs. The committee is chaired by Representative Steve Brunk (R-Bel Aire). Governor Sam Brownback has indicated he will sign the bill if it passes.