We could barely bring ourselves to write about this.
The Kansas House has passed what would probably be the most restrictive abortion bill in the country, described here by the Huffington Post.
Lawyer: I think the two most troubling provisions (obviously?) are the ones mandating that doctors tell women certain things, and those authorizing doctors to withhold certain information.
Nurse: Yeah. . . this seems like it completely undermines the doctor/patient relationship. You can no longer trust that your doctor is telling you what he really thinks is in your best interest. This seems a little. . . facist? I don’t know. The state doctor is going to tell you the state facts about your body now. True? What do you mean? The state scientist said so. This is coming from the political party that wants the state to intervene less? Um. Ok. I think we really have 3 parties– democrats, fiscal conservatives, and religious right-wing nut-jobs.
Lawyer: We can look at it both from the perspective of the rights of the patients and the rights of the doctors. (Let’s not forget that the First Amendment not only prohibits restraining speech — but also compelling speech.)
Nurse: Good one. Plus, I didn’t even get into the fact that, um, the birth control/breast cancer link which is part of this whole argument is not what any informed person would call solid evidence. So there’s another way the state is telling doctors to lie.
Lawyer: It also raises a really thorny question about the relationship between science and law, reminiscent of the debate about teaching creationism. If a legislature deems something fact, that doesn’t make it true — but they do (and properly, I think) have some control over a curriculum. It’s harder to argue that the government has any role in dictating what can happen in the exam room with the door closed.
Nurse: Yep, that was my reaction as well– it’s similar, but worse. Private physicians behind closed doors should not have to tell patients any particular thing. Public schools. . . . more debatable. But, then, how the h-e-double-hockey-sticks are they going to enforce that law? Big brother?
Lawyer: It’s also just really gross.
Nurse: AMEN, SISTER.